A hugely-anticipated video game billed as the most expensive ever made has been released in London.
Set in a post-apocalytic world 700 years from now, Destiny combines the traditional shooting game format with role-playing, in which gamers play characters in a real-time online world.
Developers said the idea was to create a game that’s “alive”, meaning events may happen that are not necessarily planned, creating a dynamic playing experience.
“It’s a persistent, online, shared world where every Guardian that you come across is a gamer, and you can play in many different modes, whichever way suits you at that moment in time. So to have that sort of experience where you just pick up and play and go and decide what you want to do, where you want to go, go with your friends, go on your own, go with people that you’ve never met before, I think it’s just going to be fantastic,” says Roy Stackhouse, managing director of Activision, the game’s publisher.
Budgets for new games have been rivalling massive Hollywood blockbusters for some years now, but Destiny's astonishing cost of US$ 500 million beats all records.
“I guess it’s kind of like shooting a rocket into space, right? You need to spend a lot of energy on the fuel just to get it up in the air, but once you get it out into orbit, the forces and gravity do the work, and it’s a lot easier ride, it’s just getting it up there in the first place, that’s where the 500 million is going,” said Wesley Yin-Poole, a journalist at independent gaming website Eurogamer.
Only time will tell whether Destiny follows in the footsteps of developer Bungie’s hugely successful Halo games.
Featuring a first person campaign as well as a vast number of side episodes which can be played collaboratively, Destiny will have to keep up the hype and ensure gamers stick around long enough to recoup the huge development and marketing costs.
In London, some die-hard gamers wouldn’t have missed the launch for anything.
“I was lining up for 30 hours, without any sleep, so I’m kind of collapsing right now,” said one Destiny fan.
“I actually found out while I was queuing up how much it cost to make the game, it’s quite shocking but it looks like it’s going to pay off because the game looks amazing,” said another.
Fortunately for gamers, Destiny is somewhat cheaper to play than to make: the stock, run of the mill version will set gamers back around US$ 60.