Bungie’s Destiny has become an unprecedented success for the company despite several issues that have arisen since launch. Given that many gamers expected a sprawling space epic, akin to Borderlands meets Halo, the low amount of content has been a major issue.
This was somewhat mitigated with The Dark Below expansion but for a $20 DLC, it included one new Raid, a few new Exotics, three new Story missions, one new Strike, three new PvP maps and an increased Light level cap (not to mention periodic Nightfalls and Weeklies that can only be played if you have the DLC). While this sounds good on paper, it pales in comparison to what other MMO-like games have offered. So what’s coming next?
GamingBolt recently spoke to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter about his thoughts on the same. Activision has already confirmed that a sequel will be happening but what has Pachter heard regarding other future plans for Destiny, especially the major content update rumoured to be happening in Fall?
“You know, Activision’s management told me that they’re – they and Bungie – are trying to keep Destiny’s revenues about flat every year this year and going forward every year until Destiny 2 comes out. It’s going to be more than just map packs and levelling up. This major content drop is going to be more like a World of WarCraft expansion, so probably more like a $40 ten level cap change as opposed to a $20 two level cap change. That’s really what they intend to do.”
Pachter also said he’s unsure about the frequency of the $20 expansions but that there may be at least a four month gap between each one. “I don’t know how frequently we’re going to see the $20 versions, but my guess is that you’ll see two $20 expansions and one $40 expansion each year, so kind of pace it out that way. Every four months, you get something like that. So I think that the goal is to keep that 3.5 to 5.5 million daily active player group spending $60 to $80 a year.
“Maybe you can sell the $40 expansion and one $20 expansion to each of them. That’s like selling them a new game every year, and Destiny maybe ends up generating 5 million units at $60. I think that’s their plan, and I think if you really like Destiny, that’s just like buying Call of Duty every year. That’s not that big a deal.
“I don’t think Destiny is ever going to be as big as Call of Duty, but I think the plan is, as people get next gen consoles – there were 3.5 million daily active players back in November, they said it was higher now, my guess is 5, like I said – and I think their goal is by year end it’s 7. And by year end ‘16, it’s 9, and then by year end ‘17 it’s 11, and then the next Destiny sells 20 million copies and then they start again.”
This isn’t exactly a new business plan that Bungie and Activision stumbled upon. EA has been selling games as a service for quite some time now with FIFA’s Ultimate Team mode. “You know, I think that it’s a smart and new business model.
I mean, it’s essentially taking the MMO subscription model and turning it into a pay-as-you-go for content model, and it might work. I think it’s an interesting new business model. You’ll hear all the publishers talk about something called “games as a service”, essentially that means subscription games. They would really love to morph into that, but none of them wants to give up that $60 initial sale.
So FIFA Ultimate Team is that. They keep selling you stuff but you need to buy the game in order to play it. Destiny is that, it’s just that the stuff that they’re selling you is in a big package that costs $20 or $40.