During the Activision Blizzard earnings call yesterday, quite a bit of attention was placed on their new upcoming IP, Destiny, with Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg calling attention to the 4.6 million participants in the beta, adding how “feedback was almost universally positive” and “it was certainly a very successful beta, both creatively and technologically.”
Mentioning that “we were able to test everything at scale and everything held up well,” Hirshberg continued by talking about how Bungie is just working on a few tweaks to make the game better ahead of launch on September 9:
As you might imagine, we learned a lot by watching players engage with the game and hearing their feedback and Bungie is now making tweaks to optimize the game and they actually did so after the alpha as well, so that’s going to be, I think, an ongoing process to make it a better experience, and nothing is more important to us or to Bungie than delivering a great experience to our community and the beta certainly helped us do that. But I would describe these as tweaks and not major changes as we saw the fundamentals of the game to be very strong.
Asked during the call how many big games like Destiny and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare could support demand throughout the year in the games industry, Hirshberg revealed that he thinks there’s room for more than one blockbuster:
On how many games the industry can support, and particularly the first-person action genre, I think, we’ve seen in the past that the first-person action genre in particular is broadly appealing to accommodate more than one blockbuster hit. There have been other good performing players in that genre and that hasn’t ever kept Call of Duty from delivering incredible results. So we think that there’s room for more than one blockbuster hit and we’re just intent on having 2 of them.
That said, we do think that the games are very different from one another. Call of Duty, as you know, is a gritty, authentic military shooter, and Destiny is a far future sci-fi action-adventure game with lot of RPG characteristics. So in fact, when you look at the people who participated in the Destiny beta, we actually think Destiny has the capability to appeal not only to the first-person action fan, but also to bring new fans into our portfolio since the game also appeals to fans of RPG and action-adventure games. So net-net, the answer is that we believe industry can and will support both, and I think, history has shown that whenever publishers have shown up with breakthrough great content with great experiences for fans, that those have tend to find a market.
If Activision’s predictions are correct, Destiny will become the biggest new IP launch in history, while also becoming Activision’s next billion-dollar franchise “over time.”