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Activision: Destiny has potential to be billion-dollar series

Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says Bungie's new game to join Skylanders and Call of Duty in billion-dollar category; Call of Duty: Ghosts preorders "well below" Black Ops II.


Bungie Studios' first post-Halo project--shared-world shooter Destiny--has the potential to become Activision Publishing's latest billion-dollar series, according to CEO Eric Hirshberg.

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Speaking today during an earnings call, Hirshberg said Destiny is on pace to set the all-time preorder record for a new franchise--at Activision and across the industry. And based on the company's internal estimates, the game is set to become Activision Publishing's third active billion-dollar franchise, joining Call of Duty and Skylanders.

Destiny launches in 2014 for current- and next-generation consoles.

Also during the call, Hirshberg spoke about preorder figures for Call of Duty: Ghosts, saying they are "well below" the record-setting Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The executive attributed this downturn to consumer uncertainty regarding next-generation platforms.

"However, our quantitative consumer research indicates that hesitation amongst past [Call of Duty] preorderers is primarily due to not knowing which platform they will be playing on, which is natural at this time in the console transition," Hirshberg said.

He pointed out that Call of Duty: Ghosts preorders are double those of the original Call of Duty: Black Ops, which was the last time Activision launched a Call of Duty sub-brand. In addition, he said other "key engagement metrics," like the number of monthly and daily Call of Duty players, as well as downloadable content sales and video views are "significantly" ahead of past years.

What's more, Hirshberg said Activision will support Call of Duty: Ghosts with the most aggressive marketing plan in the history of the Call of Duty franchise.

Call of Duty: Ghosts launches November 5 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions are also in development.

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