Activision’s Destiny Has First Day Sales of $500 Million

Destiny
A display for Activision Blizzard Inc.'s Destiny video game stands at the E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. Destiny is one of the industry’s most expensive games ever. Photographer: Dan R. Krauss/Getty Images

Activision Blizzard Inc., the largest U.S. video-game maker, said its highly-anticipated shooter title, Destiny, generated $500 million in revenue in its first day.

Destiny, in which players act as the guardians of the last city on Earth, went on sale at more than 11,000 midnight openings around the world on Sept. 9, Santa Monica, California-based Activision said today in a statement. At $60 a copy, it was the most pre-ordered game in history that wasn’t a sequel, according Cowen & Co. analyst Doug Creutz.

A strong start is crucial for Destiny. For most games of this genre, almost 40 percent of sales for the first year are generated within first five days of release, Creutz said. Activision is spending as much as $500 million to make and market Destiny, making it one of the industry’s most expensive games ever.

By comparison, last year’s Grand Theft Auto V generated $800 million worldwide for Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. on its first day last September, making it the biggest video-game debut.

Activision rose 0.3 percent to $23.81 at the close in New York. The shares have advanced 34 percent this year.

Mike Hickey, an analyst with Benchmark Co. in New York, said in an e-mail that the Destiny game was expected to draw 10 million players on its first day, after a record 4.6 million had tested the July beta release.

The game was made in conjunction with Bungie Inc., the studio that created the Halo game for Xbox. It’s released for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox consoles. The company is offering a version of the game bundled with a white PlayStation 4.

“Destiny, we think, will be the most successful new intellectual property that’s ever been released,” Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said in an August interview.

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