Destiny earns $500 million in first 24 hours

Destiny’s future is looking good.

One day after launching their anticipated online shooter, Activision announced that they’ve sold in over $500 million (£308 million) worldwide.

That’s not to be mistaken for final sales, however. "Sold in" refers to copies sold to retail outlets, not directly to consumers. Still, it’s a decent barometer of demand, and in this case, well, that’s a LOT of demand.

Let the boasting begin.

"Since the beginning, we’ve been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we’d be able to say it did so on day one,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, in a press release.

Hirshberg went on to call it “the biggest new franchise launch in our industry’s history” and “the highest-selling day one digital console release in history.”

It’s not exactly shocking. Destiny was already the most pre-ordered new franchise ever and enjoys the full backing of Activision’s prodigious marketing might. A 10-day beta test earlier this year proved wildly successful, with 4.6 million players pushing the game’s servers to the limit, at one point topping an impressive 850,000 simultaneously. It’s thusfar been a smooth technical launch, a rarity for online games.

Destiny is the latest game from Bungie Software, the acclaimed designers of the Halo series. It’s a much more ambitious project than the trials of Master Chief, however. The company has sketched out a 10-year plan for the game, and Activision has already poured over $500 million into its development and marketing.

When all’s said and done, analysts expect Destiny to join Call of Duty and Skylanders in Activision’s stable of billion-dollar franchises.

“We believe this strong launch for the highly anticipated new franchise from Bungie Software augurs well for the property,” says Ed Williams of BMO Captial. “Destiny should become another pillar franchise in the Activision Blizzard portfolio.”

While the numbers are indeed impressive, they’re nowhere near the record mark set by last year’s Grand Theft Auto V, which yielded $800 million in day-one sales. But to even compete with the likes of GTA or Call of Duty speaks volumes about what gamers expect from Destiny.

Since Activision just set the game’s servers live on Monday morning, most game reviewers (including yours truly) are still hacking their way through Destiny’s content. But regardless of scores, it looks like it’s already a hit.

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