Activision Blizzard Inc. has revealed that they are spending $500 million to both develop and promote their upcoming, high-profile, sci-fi, role-playing video game "Destiny".
That number potentially breaks industry records for the most expensive video game ever made. Analysts estimate the total budget of last year's best-selling "Grand Theft Auto V" - including development, production, and marketing - came in at around $260 million.
CEO Bobby Kotick revealed the number at a conference in Los Angeles last week, and a company spokesperson clarified yesterday that the number was accurate but included marketing, packaging, infrastructure support, royalties and "other costs".
Even so, that kind of outlay means this new IP has to become a billion-dollar franchise on par with other game franchise juggernauts "Call of Duty" and "Grand Theft Auto". "Halo" creators Bungie developed the game as part of their ten-year contract with Activision.
"Call of Duty" sales are in the 15-23 million copies range per game, while "Grand Theft Auto V" was a runaway smash with 32.5 million copies sold thus far. Analysts predict "Destiny" will need to sell between 15-16 million copies just to break even.
An Activision spokesperson tells Gamespot that part of the reason for the expense is this being a franchise launcher means that there are many upfront costs to develop tech that will be re-used in future development, thus making subsequent sequels cheaper.
"Destiny" is scheduled for release on PS4, XB1, PS3 & 360 on September 9th.