Bungie Had the 10-Year Plan for Destiny, Development Costs “Not Anything Close to $500 Million”

A couple of months ago, it was revealed that Destiny is costing Activision $500 million, with the figure including “marketing, packaging, infrastructure support, royalties, and other costs.”

Asked about the $500 million figure was Bungie COO Pete Parsons, who told GamesIndustry that development costs are only taking up a portion of the huge chunk of money:

For marketing you’d have to ask Activision people, but for development costs, not anything close to $500 million. I think that speaks a lot more to the long-term investment that we’re making in the future of the product.

We sat back, long before we even came to our partnership with Activision, thinking about, ‘We wanted to tell a story over ten years.’ We wanted each one of these things to have its own beginning, middle, and an end, but we really wanted to step back and we can do it. We’ve done it before; we did it with Halo but we didn’t plan it out. I say plan – I don’t know how the story goes, okay? But really, think about how do we future-proof our technology? What are the kinds of things we’re going to want to do? How do we build our team? How do we even build the building that our team is going to be in?

We have the time to start building that out and that’s incredibly powerful for us.

Another reason Destiny has such a high price tag is that 10-year plan Bungie has. As it turns out, Bungie were the ones who approached Activision about such a long lifecycle for the Destiny brand, not the other way around:

Well, that’s our plan, actually. We came to Activision with the 10-year plan. That was completely us. It’s a part of being an independent company.

If you have to leave a universe that you love behind, it couldn’t be really a better thing to do it with. A newly independent company starting on a new, bold adventure, which is why the game is called Destiny – it was originally a code name for the game and we ended up liking it a lot and then changed the code name to Tiger, but yeah, because it spoke so much about where we were going and what we were doing that it became the thing we’re focused on.

Do you think Destiny will gross $500 million in 2014?