News from the video game industry for the week of October 5
Every Sunday Electronista and MacNN round up some of the important pieces of news in the video game industry from the previous week. This week, we take a look at some statistics regarding the number of players in Destiny, issues with the launch of Driveclub, free next-generation copies of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for customers buying it on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, as well as some other notable news bits and upcoming releases.
Is that wizard really from the moon and actually worth spending $60 on?
Let's just cut through the normal crap of a boring introductory paragraph. If you've been alive and a gamer for more than 15 years, you know who Bungie is. More than 25 years, and you've played a Bungie game or two. At more than 40 (and a Mac user), you've played games from the company that shipped on 3.5-inch disk. Bungie is now freed from the clutches of Microsoft, and under the thrall of a new master -- Activision. Destiny is the first title from the thrice-born company, and it's -- different. Is it any good, and more importantly, how is the experience on the seemingly-omnipresent previous generation of console?
Figure is a 'sell-in' number, Activision already cashing in on 10-year deal
Activision Blizzard's $500 million bet on former Halo developer Bungie appears to be paying off after the first day. The company's Destiny launched this Tuesday, bringing in more than $500 million in sales for the Activision-published game. The sales figure that Activision claims makes the game "the biggest new video game franchise launch in history."
PS3, Xbox 360 buyers get free next-gen copy for limited time, Vita remote play controls refined
With Bungie's Destiny coming out later this week, the company announced an initiative to give players still on last-gen hardware an easier way to transition to next-gen consoles in the near future. Bungie announced that players that purchase a digital copy of Destiny for the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 are eligible for a free digital version on either the Xbox One or PlayStation 4. Sony also announced a control scheme specific to that PlayStation Vita that Bungie developed for those playing the game via remote play.
Bungie decided to preserve the experience for players, not push each console
Bungie took on the difficult task of developing its latest game Destiny for four different consoles across two generations of technology. While this isn't uncommon near the end-of-life cycles for consoles, Bungie decided to craft the experience for each console according to their vision rather than hardware limitations. However, hardware does keep the game from advancing into cross-platform play territory, an area of play that gaming is moving into.
Marty O'Donnell takes settlement in individual suit after Harold Ryan denied benefits
Composer Marty O'Donnell, best known for his work on the Halo video game franchise, settled his individual lawsuit with Bungie President Harold Ryan last week on a judge-approved deal. In the lawsuit against Ryan, which was filed in May, O'Donnell claimed that Bungie owed him unpaid time off and other benefits under company policy, which Ryan denied.
Focus is on console launch, team discussing a possible PC release in the future
During the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Polygon's Ben Kuchera spoke with Activision Publishing CEO Erik Hirshberg about the future of Bungie's upcoming Destiny. While the focus was on the development of the title for multiple consoles, Hirshberg did confirm that the company is mulling over the idea of porting the game to personal computers.
Bungie looks set to deliver another winner with Destiny
Electronista has had the opportunity to go hands-on with the Destiny First Look Alpha, from Halo creators Bungie. It is not often that we take a closer look at video games on the site, however Destiny is easily one of the most anticipated games of the next-generation game consoles. For people who pre-order the game, a Destiny Beta will arrive on July 17, ahead of the September launch. However, post-E3, Bungie has opened up a limited Alpha testing period that started on June 12 exclusively on the Sony PS4 as it works to refine the finished product.
Playstation 4 tester streams game on Ustream, Activision scrambles to remove videos
New gameplay footage of Bungie's Destiny has showed up online, though this time it isn't from the company itself. The game had footage leaked last week when one of the game's alpha testers decided to stream during a play round on the Playstation 4. Activision has been quick to pull videos down on YouTube, but other sources are still available.
Spiritual successor to Halo most expensive game produced yet
Reuters reports that Activision Blizzard will drop a total of $500 million on the development of Bungie's upcoming game Destiny. The investment makes the game the most expensive video game production to date, surpassing previous cost leaders such as Grand Theft Auto V and Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick announced the record-setting investment at the Milken Institute conference in Los Angeles at the end of April.
Apps could complement PC/console project
Halo creator Bungie Studios may be looking to dip its toes into iOS development, reports suggest. Earlier this week Bungie formed a company called "Bungie Aerospace Corporation," nevertheless controlled by Bungie president Harold Ryan. The Aerospace spinoff has now filed for a trademark on the term "Crimson," which according to classifications would apply to games "downloadable from a global computer network," "for use on mobile and cellular phones," and/or available "via a global computer network and wireless devices."
Deal dealt blow to Mac gaming industry
Apple CEO Steve Jobs made an "angry" call to Microsoft head Steve Ballmer following the latter company's buyout of Bungie, a new interview reveals. Bungie was once one of the foremost Mac developers, having created popular game franchises like Myth and Marathon. The first Halo game was originally expected to be flagship Mac title, launching for Mac and Windows systems simultaneously; Jobs himself revealed plans during a 1999 Macworld conference.
Slim Xbox 360 gets Reach for first limited run
Microsoft kicked off the start of the San Diego Comic-Con with the first limited-edition Xbox 360 based on the slim redesign. The Limited Edition Halo: Reach model trades the usual glossy black for a matte silver with markings designed by Bungie itself. Gamers also get two color-matched wireless gamepads and a regular copy of the shooter.