Bungie Thinking About Lord of the Rings-Sized Narrative for Destiny, Activision Says

Bungie has a ten-year plan in place for Destiny, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg says.

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J.R.R. Tolkien's epic fantasy tome Lord of the Rings is regarded as one of the deepest and most finely crafted fantasies ever written. Achieving a similar level of depth and breadth is a goal that Bungie has in mind for its soon-to-be-released shooter, Destiny, according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. Speaking with Wired as part of a fascinating feature about Bungie's origins and its Halo history, Hirshberg says Bungie has a ten-year plan in mind for Destiny, which begins with the game's release on September 9.

"I think a lot of franchises get built game-to-game, or month-to-month--the moment really determines the momentum of the franchise," he said. "Bungie aren't just thinking about the content that goes on the first disc; they're thinking about a ten-year story. They're thinking about a Lord of the Rings-sized narrative. How do you build a lasting franchise? How do you design something that, from day one, is built to last?"

This is actually not the first time Destiny has been mentioned in comparison to Lord of the Rings by someone working on the game. Last year, Bungie COO Pete Parsons said Destiny has the potential to surpass the cultural impact of Halo and sit on people's shelves alongside popular works like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Star Wars.

In 2010, Bungie signed a 10-year, exclusive publishing deal with Activision for a new franchise that we now know is Destiny.

Destiny's launch next week is just the beginning for the game, Bungie says. The developer has extensive post-release plans for the game, which include at least two main expansions, the first of which is called The Dark Below. That expansion launches in December.

GameSpot will have more on Destiny next week. For now, check out our previous coverage.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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SJLJHolmes

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Destiny 2 should start 40 years later, when the earth has been mostly won back, and many territories have been recaptured on the moon, Mars and Venus. You start with a different character who has a more likeable and funny ghost (still voiced by Dinklage, but explain it away by saying the ghosts adapt to their guardian's personality because it provides solid tactical and even emotional support). Also add the following new worlds:

Ganymede- Jupiter's moon, very similar to earth.

Io- Jupiter's moon, a volcanic hellish world that has regressed to rubble since humans left it at the end of the golden age.

Enceladus - Saturn's moon, humans turned this giant snowball into a thriving water world, but it is turning back into a giant ice ball. Giant geysers riddle the icy parts of the surface.

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BurningBen

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This is very interesting..... never before have i heard of planning a narrative after the release of the game. They should have figured out what they wanted to do for the narrative before releasing the game, especially since what we currently have introduces us to this universe for the first time, and the narrative almost seems nonexistent


Bungie,

Please hire scripters before releasing any further material.

Thank You

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AyatollaofRnR

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I think it's a good sign that they have planned out the future of the franchise and narrative. I don't see the universe of Destiny measuring up to Halo in terms of lore due to the nature of the game, but I hope its got some substance to it.

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Shantmaster_K

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Nice. Hopefully it is as big as Halo!

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Flyin3lvl

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so many claims so many awards so much hype....for a game thats not even out yet

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dabomb790

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<< LINK REMOVED >> People have got a chance to play it before its release to get a taste of the game so its not like the hype that it has garnered is unwarranted.

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Flyin3lvl

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<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> valid point.... like many iv played...i did enjoy.... but so much hype for whats on the surface just waiting to see the depth it claims to go

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Keaze_

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"Bungie has a ten-year plan in place for Destiny, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg says"

I'll only buy the game if it comes with a "bobby kotick approved" seal.

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TERMINATOR-SSD

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Would be amazing, but it wont happen if that Destiny is the ground base game and then they just keep adding to it via expansions, like WoW for example. Instead of making sequels and sequels like COD.

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dabomb790

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<< LINK REMOVED >> They will be making sequels. In their deal with activision they have at least 3 more full games coming out in the future.

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fabs1

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"Bungie Thinking About Lord of the Rings-Sized Narrative for Destiny"


Surprise, every paying player can be Frodo Baggins and save the world a good 1000 times.

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oflow

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To give them a bit of credit maybe if hes comparing Destiny to the Peter Jackson 'The Hobbit' trilogy he might be in the running.

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oflow

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That wizard Gandalf he came from the moon!

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Bizzy-SGS

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If the story sucks and doesn't leave me satisfied while at the same time wanting more, this is the last Destiny or Bungie game I buy. Halo was a piece of shhh and I really don't know what to expect from Bungie this time.

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Spartan-1657

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I know its not a subscription-based model but that expansion coming in December needs to be free. I've said it before and I'll say it again - don't split up the community so quickly.

Until its confirmed that its free, I am not buying. This holiday, sales will be huge. People dont want to get the game and then discover they already need to pay more just to keep up so soon after its released.

Not to mention, 10 year timeline? If a new paid expansion gets released every few months, no one would get this game in 2-3 years since it would cost hundreds of dollars to catch up.

I just want more clarification on how expansions will be handled, which is something I think they already should have provided.

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horizonwriter

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<< LINK REMOVED >> You're asking for a lot. You said early on you know that it's not a subscription-based model. To ask for free expansions on something with MMO-esque properties but without the continued revenue generation of subscriptions is naive wishful thinking at best.


Some details on the first two expansions and their pricing have already been given. The pass gets you those two for $34.99 but if you choose to get them individually later they will be $20 a piece, which will likely be the standard price on stand-alone expansions for later adopters for the duration of Destiny's lifespan.


Given that sales from this game and its expansions are going to be Bungie's shining star for a long time, it's probably a safe bet that while not likely that you'll see expansions every few months, at least not after the first year, one or two a year doesn't sound out of the question. If they take plays from other MMO's and shared-world games then we might also see additional jobs/roles in future expansions as well.


Other games have typically been sold with past expansions included when new, major expansions are released. Chances are this will likely be the case with Destiny or they'll offer the other older ones in bundles at an extremely discounted rate when new chapters show up.

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Spartan-1657

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Ya, I know its asking for a lot. But coming from a dev that plans on supporting the game for 10 years, it really isn't too much to ask considering they need us in order for them to support their game for such a long time.

I must have missed the pricing details of those packs. Kinda disappointed with the pricing though. We'll see what happens as time goes by, but my point still remains that in a few years, it will be hundreds of dollars to catch up if just getting into it.

I'm not necessarily saying that the expansions have to be free. But for a game like this, there should be free content updates as well, not paid content every few months. That just seems like its asking for too much.

And again, to address my main point of frustration... this will divide the community pretty quickly at the pace these expansions will come out. Now I know with potential millions of players, it won't seem that bug of a deal right away, but give it time and the flaws of this will be glaring.

Either way, I still have big hopes for this game and I am still interested in it. But with my life being much busier than its ever been, I won't be able to keep up with everything so quickly and it puts me off to know that I'll get the feeling of being left behind so quickly in a game of this scale.

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StillMindz

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I don't think it will split the community up. I know plenty of people who already paid for the next two expansions, and I'm sure if the game turns out to be great people will continue to pay for expansions even if it means a few years from now they will have invested hundreds of dollars on Destiny. People already spend tons of money every year on titles such as Assassin's Creed and COD (which blows my mind because those titles are not worth it). The bottom line is developers like to be paid for their work, and people love spending money on things they don't need. When push comes to shove, people will will pay.

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StillMindz

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Perhaps this is poor wording on Gamespot's part. I don't think Bungie means they have created a masterpiece akin to LOTR, but that the story is long and expansive like LOTR, Star Wars, etc.

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horizonwriter

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<< LINK REMOVED >> lol Even though I didn't take it as such, the wording does kind of make it seem like an egotistical statement and could easily feed trolls.

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Daian

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Well no shyt, their contract with Activision leaked last year. This is not news to anybody.

It is widely known (and predictable) for them to milk this dry with copy paste content, it's Activision after all.

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TimberWolf_CLT

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Does it put anybody else's teeth on edge when Bungie compares it to the Tolkien works?

How about self-aggrandizing less and working to give it a great story and material to keep folks engaged? Stop trying promote it as a literary classic and make sure that your servers are up to the first-day load.

I enjoyed the Beta and have it on pre-order and I am interested to see how long this game/series can move forward.

Just stop with the marketing drivel.

jmo

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cboye18

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It's still funny they compare this IP with the likes of Lord of the Rings and StarWars; it won't probably last 3 years...

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gargungulunk

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the hype is working

I'll be missing out at launch

magnificent hype.

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JRD1912

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Big talk from the story shown so far. I mean Moon Wizards? That is awesomely bad in kinda a good way, but what little of the story has been shown seems generic, and awful.

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Jew1

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and it will accomplish this with 20 lvls and 30 something 10-15 minute long story missions that can be completed in a few days? hah yeah good luck bungie. buy pre own then return within the week and I'll never pick up your game again. It'll be like a thought that I had once but forgot ever existed.

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oflow

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used bin in 3 months.

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Mantiis

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Tolkien spent his entire adult life creating the worlds, cultures, religions, and races of Arda. It was left unfinished as he carried it to his deathbed, yet, Bungie is going to "do something similar" in ten years? Get lost. You don't have a simulacrum of the imagination that Tolkien did.

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Stogin

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Honestly I'm really excited for this game and can't wait to play it with some friends. But this is ridiculous "Last year, Bungie COO Pete Parsons said Destiny has the potential to << LINK REMOVED >>and sit on people's shelves alongside popular works like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or Star Wars." Come on guys, that's arrogant as hell.

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TimberWolf_CLT

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I know, it's like painting a huge karma target on themselves.

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Mantiis

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It's nice that they plan to create a complex lore similar to...Halo- BUT!- Never, Ever compare this comparative smut to the sanctity and grandeur that is The Lord of the Rings! Blasphemy!

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catsimboy

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I just didn't see anything that indicated this world is set up for that kind of deep story. All I saw was another "Oh no a big bad space alien is coming to kill us! (hey what's this ancient stuff hidden on the moon?)" story.

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JRD1912

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Moon aliens/Wizards! If that isnt the most creative thing ever I dont know what is! LoTRs who?! Stop writing/creating people, it doesnt get better then this! The mold done broke!


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GarGx1

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A few things they'll need to make this game last 10 years


It has to be amazing and full of things no one has seen before, World of Warcraft and Eve are good examples.


Free content is a must, they can't release a paid for DLC every few months (first is due 2 months after release!). Again look at WoW there have been 3 paid for expansions in 10 years (1 more coming in November) and these expansions have been massive but there have been constant free content adds


They need to release it on PC, no way in hell will there be console gamers playing this in 10 years time, a large proportion of initial crowd will have moved on to other things by the end of this year and their servers will be ghost towns by the end of 2015.


Of course when they say they want it to last 10 years they actually mean the IP and not this first release, expect Destiny 2, 3, 4, 5...... over the next 10 years, with at least 3 paid for expansions for each release.

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JRD1912

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<< LINK REMOVED >> No subscription no free content. These days youre lucky if a subscription gets meaningful content for free.

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LordCrisp

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No matter how you look at that, it's not free...

And the rest of the comment isn't necessarily true either... it's just because most games are published by people who doesn't care about games, but only money...

Both the Witcher games gave us a major overhaul of the games plus some new content for free, no strings attached.

And yes, I'm also expecting a new installment in the franchise fairly often... come on, think about it. They've teamed up with the CoD publishers... I'll be amazed if the "expansions" are much more than a crusible map or two...

Really looking forward to this game, but comparing it to LOTR, Star Wars and Harry Potter is just plain stupid and arrogant, and it's not gonna happen. The only ones who seemingly would be almost able to pull that of, would be CD Project Red and Bioware

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Naquada

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<< LINK REMOVED >> While I generally agree with you, I think using WoW is an example is a bad idea. The 5th expansion is actually coming out soon, and your definition of free content might need some clarification in light of having to pay a $15 monthly subscription. Every 4 months I could buy a whole other game just for what I pay Blizzard for *access* to WoW. :D

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Uncompetative

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So, let me get this straight...


Their last franchise was an epic quest to destroy a ring of power and their new one is like Tolkien?

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TimberWolf_CLT

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<< LINK REMOVED >> I see what you did there... :)

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markbot

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I'm pretty sure they spent more money on the marketing than on the actual production of the game. I'm very skeptical right now of this game....too much hype. Titanfall and Watchdogs were super overhyped...they were pretty run of the mill games.

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GarGx1

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<< LINK REMOVED >> Standard issue for large publishers these days, the game likely cost around $50 million to make and at least $100 million on marketing.


R* done the same with GTA V, though they new they would get the money back. I do wonder if they expected to get 5 times the money back, just from the last gen consoles alone.

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DonJuanCorleone

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well thats pretty lame, i dont want to wait a decade to conclude a story

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