Report: Destiny costs Activision $500 million to develop and promote

Activision Blizzard will spend $500 million developing and promoting developer Bungie's upcoming first-person action game, Destiny, CEO Bobby Kotick revealed during the Milken conference in Los Angeles last week, Reuters reports.

An Activision Blizzard spokesperson confirmed the amount with Reuters earlier this week, according to the publication, who said the figure also includes "marketing, packaging, infrastructure support, royalties and other costs." The figure follows community manager Eric Osborne's recent comments that Activision has "invested exponentially more resources into this universe than we ever have before on a game."

"We shipped Halo: Reach with 150 people," Osborne told Polygon in an interview. "We've got about 500 now working on Destiny. It takes a lot of people, and a lot of smart people to make a game that measures up today."

Bungie signed an agreement with Activision in 2010 to develop and publish four Destiny games over the next decade, and grants the developer with freedoms in terms of game design and creative approach with the franchise. "If you're making a $500 million bet you can't take that chance with someone else's IP. The stakes for us are getting bigger," Kotick said at the the Milken conference.

Kotick mentioned in the fourth quarter earnings report in February that the company expects Destiny to be the publisher's "next billion dollar franchise" and "the best-selling new video game IP in history."  With its first quarter results expected to be revealed today, its fourth quarter earnings were better than expected. The company brought in more than $1.5 billion in revenue, while it earned $4.58 billion in GAAP net revenues during the 2013 calendar year, down from $4.85 billion in the previous year.

To learn more about Destiny and find out what Bungie is doing with it that moves shooting games forward, read our hand-on impressions and interview with members of the development team. Set for a full release on Sept. 9, the Destiny beta is slated for this summer on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, while the public beta will also be available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One at an unannounced date.

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