In the video game industry, it’s very hard to make predictions. You might think you have a slam dunk in your hands and eventually end up with a dud. On the other hand, you might think that you’ve come up with another “me too”” product and end up with a very popular franchise. Such as the widely divergent fortunes that are present in the video game industry. You really have to take lots of Blockbusters or earth shattering announcements from video game companies with a block of salt. Seriously. If all the press hype released by video game developers throughout the years actually panned out, then we’d have thousands of Call of Duty franchises. We don’t. We only have a handful, and the numbers are decreasing. Why? The video game industry has become almost like Hollywood. In Hollywood, for you to have a Blockbuster game, you have to seriously pour millions upon millions of dollars into development. After that, you have to pour millions of dollars into promotion. This is why a lot of industry observers are complaining that video games have become pretty much dead. There’s no more creativity. The focus is on retreads and sequels and really warmed-over ideas. The heavy cost of production is pretty much creating huge barriers to entry that ensures that only the most mediocre and heavily hyped games survived.
It is within this context that you should understand the recent announcement by the original team behind the Xbox’s highly popular first-person shooter series Halo, Bungie. Bungie was relatively unknown company that came up with a Halo franchise but was pretty much forced to give it up to Microsoft. Well, Bungie just announced that they would be coming up with a new game called destiny. Destiny, according to the predictable hype from Bungie’s publisher Activision, is going to be a best-selling new franchise. You just have to look behind the hype and focus on what this product brings to the table. It is going to be an action game, and it is going to build up on Halo’s successes. We don’t know exactly the exact game play innovations that Destiny will bring to the table. One thing that we can be sure of is that Activision will lend the marketing and production power it has to come up with a solid game.
However, as we have mentioned earlier, just because you have a lot of money and a lot of promotions doesn’t necessarily mean that your product will be a success. You’ll only need to look at Star Wars: The Old Republic to know exactly what I mean. The Electronic Arts spent almost 200 million dollars on that game, and it’s now a free to play game. It definitely makes you see in clear terms the realities of modern game industry.