Activision: Destiny Beta Had 4.6 Million Players, Making It The Biggest Console Beta Ever for a New IP

"We were totally blown away by the number of people who played the beta," Bungie says.

More than 4.6 million people played the recently concluded Destiny beta, publisher Activision and developer Bungie announced today. The beta kicked off on July 17 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4, before later arriving on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. It came to a close on Sunday, with an exact total of 4,638,937 people participating. This is a record-breaking number.

"This is the biggest beta of this console generation by a wide margin and the largest console beta ever for a new video game IP to date," Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said in a statement. "Hosting a beta at this scale is an incredible feat, so we're thrilled to see the phenomenal response. But the beta is just a taste of what's to come. We're counting down the days to our launch day, September 9th."

For his part, Bungie COO Pete Parsons said Bungie was "totally blown away by the number of people who played the beta." The pre-release period for Destiny surpassed Bungie's own goals, Parsons added, going on to describe the feedback gathered from the beta as "invaluable."

"We cannot thank the community enough, the response was humbling and in the weeks ahead we’ll be working hard to ensure that Destiny lives up to the expectations at launch," he said.

Activision has high hopes for Destiny, saying earlier this year that it could become Activision Publishing third billion-dollar franchise, joining the likes of juggernauts franchises including Call of Duty and Skylanders. Destiny launches September 9 for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4. The PC platform is a "natural fit" for Destiny, but there are no firm plans to bring the game to computers.

For more on Destiny, check out GameSpot's feature about the seven big questions that we have after playing the beta.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

139 comments
ItchyIsVegeta
ItchyIsVegeta

It's the successor to Halo, and the beta was on all 4 major platforms.  Of course it had the biggest Beta ever. 

bornstellar343i
bornstellar343i

If you want to play a real mmo shooter you should try FIREFALL. Great game, with real open World feeling. And the best: it´s free!

deathstream
deathstream

How many of those people are duplicates having played the PS4 and Xbox One versions to compare them, given the insane focus on pixel-gazing this generation?

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Yeah, but many of us who played the beta won't be buying the game, so it's not exactly a good thing.

Hurvl
Hurvl

They'll need almost four times as many people to reach 1 billion dollar if each of them pays 60 dollars, but that's what DLC and other fees are for I guess.

Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

No Bungie you shouldn't be "blown away", especially since you gave open access to everyone that owns a Sony or a MS console. Of course everyone and their mother (except PC gamers of course) are going to try it out.


4.6 mil seems very low.

jasongm
jasongm

Thought the beta was .. "Okay". nothing earth shattering, definitely not a game for lone wolfs.

bourne714
bourne714

Those numbers don't surprise me at all.  Bungie has the pedigree of a prized stallion.  Halo 1 and 2 are the main reasons I took my video gaming hobby to a damn near obsession.  Well, that and the original Xbox.  Good times...  

chris120379
chris120379

Nice beta, not groundbreaking at all, stil gonna have to wait for reviews of the final game.

seanwil545
seanwil545

I enjoyed the beta, but I'm going to hold off a bit.

Maybe they'll do a PC GOTY Edition next year that has all the DLC bundled.

unreal849
unreal849

Fun fact - the original release leaks in 2012 said that Destiny would make full use of DLC and microtransactions.

gcarlin1
gcarlin1

I actually enjoyed the beta. I didn't expect much but I found it was pretty good - for me anyway. I'll probably get the game now.

oflow
oflow

I wish I had four hands....so I could give this beta four thumbs down!!!

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

The game will be lucky if it sells 3 million at launch

maitkarro
maitkarro

@bornstellar343i Are you kidding me, Firefall sucks, I played it after Destiny, and I felt so dissapointed, when I played Firefall beta the first time, when it came out, it was awesome, but now it was like coming back to a box of chocolate that was left in the sun for few days. Right now firefall is just a casual shooter, there is no impact no weight in what you do there, the shooting itself feels so bland there. It's superb for a F2P game, but it sucks compared to games that you pay once and play forever.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Darkhol0w Playing a beta of a game isn't something that everyone and their mother is interested in and a game like Destiny isn't everyone's cup of content. Then there's the fact that it's a new IP (we'll see exactly *how* new it is later on). Those things all speak against it, but despite that they still managed to draw in more than 4,6 million.

j3zm0n7e
j3zm0n7e

I loved it, but i agree the beta was so much better when we had a three man fire team and turned up the game hardness setting and and had party chat on. We would soften targets for team mates so they could get the bounties done and on crucible party chat ruled for co-ordinating strategy.

Tho cos loot chest and stimetal fade soon after examining, some were a pain to get as three people all had to access them within a quick time frame. And when they were on ledges we constantly died after falling off, whilst trying to get set up.

grimmy006
grimmy006

@unreal849 well they do have the expansion passes coming out with the limited edition and the ghost edition.I would presume there is more of them to come 

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@unreal849  I remember that. I'm very curious to see how  that ends up working. I'm guessing the microtransactions will be for better hairstyles and Looks of your characters, probably for additional skins for your hoover bike and ship as well. DLC will obviously be more locations with additional missions.

ThePowerOfHAT
ThePowerOfHAT

@gcarlin1  I certainly enjoyed it.  It wasn't quite all that I was hoping for, but I think they might have something special here.  On the fence on whether I'll actually purchase it or not, though.

unreal849
unreal849

@oflow  If you scrunch your big toes downwards it kinda works.

mr_rockets
mr_rockets

@xXxIRyanxXx Well it's seven weeks away from release and has 1.2 million pre-orders in the US alone and is growing by over 100,000 pre-orders each week in the US alone and I would only think it will become more as the game gets closer to release. So I hate to rain on your parade dude, but 3 million will be more of a minimum then a maximum.

deathstream
deathstream

@Hurvl @Darkhol0w


They beta was a new game to play in a year that has been REALLY short on new games, especially this summer.  The numbers are were going to be high once they opened it fully up.  If they had managed these numbers based solely on preorderers playing the beta it would be impressive, but they didn't so it isn't.

irishrizo
irishrizo

@Hurvl @Darkhol0w yeah a lot of my friends didn't wanna play beta because they didn't want to play a "half ass version".

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@daikkenaurora12 @xXxIRyanxXx $500,000,000 on this game, most of that must be going into marketing because with that kind of money the game should be incredible. It was a good game but nothing special, I think it will be interesting to see day one sales compared to people that played the beta.

seanwil545
seanwil545

@Pupchu @xXxIRyanxXx 

No doubt...the bar has been set pretty low and Destiny is much better than the last couple of big releases.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@Pupchu @xXxIRyanxXx Activision has half a billion dollars invested in this game, between development and marketing. There is no way they make that back. If the game is as short as people are saying, and if the level cap really is 20 the game is doomed. What's worrying is that Bungie hasn't come out and denied the rumors and leaks. I enjoyed the beta, I wasn't going to buy the game before, but for me this is a game I will only buy in a bargain bin.

Kevin75
Kevin75

@irishrizo @Hurvl @Darkhol0w Pity, it was pretty fleshed out and beat most complete games I've played. It was more like a demo than what is traditionally considered a Beta. Yet if it was half assed then wow is this game going to be amazing come launch.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@xXxIRyanxXx @daikkenaurora12 "It was a good game..."


Destiny is not a game yet. It hasn't been released, so it's not a final product. Even Bungie hasn't played the final product yet. Hence, it's not a game yet. No one has played anything but the beta, and no one should expect to make a final decision of the game based solely on what they played in the beta. Don't give up on this game until it's actually released and we can get an accurate measurement of what the final game actually is.

elghadaffi
elghadaffi

Another day and someone is tossing around the half billion dollar line ... And I have to let them know the money will cover the cost for all destiny games bungie will make and not just this one.

Sometimes it better to read articles and not just read the headlines

brycly
brycly

@xXxIRyanxXx @Pupchu Half a billion is for 4 full games, dlc/expansions and marketing for the entire series. Destiny itself cost nowhere near 500 million to make, as Bungie themselves have said. 

themc_7
themc_7

@xXxIRyanxXx @Pupchu that 500 million dollar value is completely wrong. Source: http://www.gamespot.com/articles/destiny-budget-nowhere-near-500-million-bungie-says/1100-6420802/

Classes won't be capped at 20. You can hit level 8 in 3 hours. I've read at level 15 you unlock subclasses which open huge new skill trees for each of the 3 classes. Guaranteed, levels will go 30+.

4.6 million people played the beta and it has set records. Everything I've seen is love for the beta and excitement for the game. People who'd never played a bungie game or even heard of Destiny are now preordering this based off playing the Beta for a few hours. If Watch Dogs(which was a huge flop) can sell 4 million copies, Destiny will definitely outsell 3 million copies.

oflow
oflow

You underestimate the rabid power of mmo fanboys

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

@Kevin75 @irishrizo @Hurvl @Darkhol0w  I had a similar reaction.  This beta played with far more polish than many games have at release.  I was fully expecting issues and to not really like it.  Instead I had a great time and very much want to revisit it once it released. 

Not bad for a "half-assed" version. 

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@themc_7 Just curious but did you read the article you keep posting, if the CEO of the company in charge of publishing Destiny says the game has a budget of $500 million between development and marketing I'm going to believe him. Bungie said most of the money is going towards marketing not development. 

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@FLEEBS @xXxIRyanxXx @daikkenaurora12 What do you expect them to add in under a month for the full game that wasn't in the beta, and that is going to make the game better then what we played in the beta. The gameplay is going to be exactly the same, there will be more content sure, but how much.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@themc_7 @xXxIRyanxXx @Pupchu Peoples opinions on the beta are far more mixed then you are saying, scroll through the comments to find out. There are subclasses at 15, but all the abilities in your main class are unlocked at 8 and are upgraded by using them. All the classes were really similar, it will be interesting to see what the sub classes do.

themc_7
themc_7

@xXxIRyanxXx @themc_7 did you read the article? "Activision is, too. But the budget for Destiny, including associated marketing costs and pizza Wednesdays, is nowhere near 500 million dollars.”

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@xXxIRyanxXx @FLEEBS @daikkenaurora12 It's not what they're going to add, it's what we didn't see in the beta. That was only a small slice of the pie. I understand people have valid concerns with the overall scope of the game, but I have a feeling there is going to be lots to do in Destiny for some time to come. And I know this doesn't count for the initial release, but the expansions that will be released down the road I expect will make the game even larger. As long as they are full on expansions and not just add-on DLC. 


I just think it's silly to put final judgement on a game before seeing what the full game has to offer.

brycly
brycly

@xXxIRyanxXx I think they are supposed to start out the same and diverge as they get more powerful, that way you can learn how to use each class naturally as you play and level up. 

themc_7
themc_7

@xXxIRyanxXx I believe the skill tree was modified to suit the beta's level 8 cap. maybe I'm wrong, but I think they wanted players to feel the true power of the guardians so they gave them powers/abilities that you won't unlock until higher levels. 


P.S I just found this article to back up some earlier fact.

Higher than 20 Level Cap Source: 


“Unlike a bunch of the other activities in Destiny, where you begin the activity – like let's say you pick the level-22 Strike playlist – everything in that activity is going to be level 22. It's going to be consistent. If you're level 26, you're going to have some relationship to it. You're going to be more powerful than that activity.

From: http://ca.ign.com/articles/2014/07/30/destiny-the-endgame-is-only-the-beginning-ign-first?read

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@FLEEBS If most of the replay value is in the PvP multiplayer I want nothing to do with Destiny, Co-op was far more fun for me than the multiplayer PvP. 

unreal849
unreal849

@FLEEBS See, there's the issue. Given that there are only four relatively small environments, one has to wonder about how big that pie really is.

oflow
oflow

10% of the content doesn't mean the engine or gameplay will change, just means they let you play the starter zone.

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@themc_7 @xXxIRyanxXx The way it worked in the beta was each class had 3 main abilities then 5 more passive abilities like health upgrades and stuff, and all of them we upgraded by using them. How it works in the full game I'm not sure. Im glad the level cap is higher then 20, and hopefully there is alot more content in the full game.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@xXxIRyanxXx @FLEEBS I actually agree with you on this. Bungie has said that they are making Destiny for every type of player, that they are creating the game to support all those players to have something to do for some time to come, so I really hope they deliver on that. I'd much rather do coop than PvP.

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@unreal849 @FLEEBS It's definitely a valid concern, and maybe it's not as big as Bungie led everyone to believe. I read the Forbes article, and I am concerned a little, but not too much. I expect I'll put plenty of time into the game. With it being a persistent world and such, I am still hoping the game will have lots to do outside of normal, story based gameplay.

themc_7
themc_7

@xXxIRyanxXx @themc_7 agreed. Some people were saying the beta is 10% of the game. I really hope that number is inaccurate. In the beta we saw just a section of earth and a small portion of the moon. The full game will feature Earth, the moon, mars, venus, possibly Jupiter, Saturn and another planet/star called Europa.

http://ca.ign.com/wikis/destiny/Locations

xXxIRyanxXx
xXxIRyanxXx

@FLEEBS @xXxIRyanxXx Hopefully there is alot more content in the game then we are expecting now, because how often can they release a DLC like Borderlands does where it adds alot of content and raises the level cap. Borderlands gets a new DLC like every two or three months.

spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@unreal849 @xXxIRyanxXx @FLEEBS  I played the PvP during the Alpha, I wouldn't call it bad, I would say that there is nothing new or refreshing about it compared to all the other shooters out there and that part is bad considering there are going to be lots of people expecting big things. And Yeah for anybody else, YES I KNOW ITS AN ALPHA, I get it.  I'm just saying, they better have a lot more than what they are showing. That's all.

unreal849
unreal849

@FLEEBS @unreal849  If you don't mind some cookie cutting, I'm sure you will have plenty to do. I'm just burnt out on the Borderlands formula - cookie cutter mission designs, overlapping map usage, and padding out playtime with gameplay milestones ("kill 10,000 of one type of enemy for no fvcking reason!!!").


I was hoping for Halo-like campaign impact, and on that front the Beta did not deliver. My expectations for the final product are fairly low.

unreal849
unreal849

Lol, nothing beats the BL franchise for content and playtime.... Skyrim with every mod comes close  XD

j3zm0n7e
j3zm0n7e

The grimoire cards give a few hints to stuff on the destiny app or bungie.net

Plus it has all your stats even though the alpha and beta has finished

unreal849
unreal849

@spartanx169x  You're right, it wasn't bad. The more appropriate term would be "Lazy".  I felt slapped with Deja Vu back from when I played COD (not Halo, mind you).