Prior to its release, video game publisher Electronic Arts' (NASDAQ:EA) latest high-profile game Titanfall was made out by many to be the next Halo in the making, which is to say a blockbuster series capable of driving and sustaining immense sales. Although Titanfall was met with generally favorable reviews upon release, the game is not as revolutionary as many had hoped it would be.
However, there is another game in the development pipeline that has a better shot at becoming the next Halo; publisher Activision-Blizzard's (NASDAQ: ATVI)'s Destiny. If the game is as successful as it is hyped, then Destiny most likely will end up being a massive hit and quite possibly the next Halo-sized blockbuster.
What does it mean to be the next Halo?
To truly understand the sales capabilities of a potential blockbuster like Destiny, it helps to know what people mean when they refer to something as a Halo in the making.
Halo is a multibillion-dollar science fiction franchise that is owned by Microsoft Studios, the video game production unit of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT). Created by developer Bungie in 2001 and now overseen by Microsoft's 343 Industries, the Halo series has had nine original video game releases and has since been expanded into other media formats including books, comics, television and film.
To date, the original Halo entry entitled Halo: Combat Evolved has sold 6.4 million units worldwide and currently holds a critic score of 97 out of 100 on popular aggregate review site Metacritic. For comparison, Electronic Arts' Titanfall currently holds a score of 86 out of 100 on the Xbox One platform.
Halo 4, released in 2012 by developer 343 Industries, was officially named the top-selling Microsoft Studios game of all time last year. The game grossed $220 million on its opening day and has since sold nearly 9 million total units on the Xbox 360 console.
Destiny in the making?
Any gamer enthusiast knows right off the bat that Destiny shares more similarities with Halo than Titanfall ever did. In fact, the only two things Titanfall had in common with Halo was an expansive multiplayer offering and Microsoft console/PC exclusivity. Besides that, Activision-Blizzard's Destiny is a much better comparison to Halo.
Like Halo, Destiny is a first-person shooter based in a science fiction world that spans solar systems. Although expected to be more of an open-world game than Halo ever was, Destiny emphasizes both single-player and multiplayer modes, similar to Halo. On the other hand, Titanfall is primarily geared toward multiplayer modes only.
However, the true link between Destiny and Halo is acclaimed developer Bungie. Without Bungie, Halo as we know it would not exist. The developer is capable of great things as its work on the first Halo trilogy proves and all signs point to similar success with Destiny.
For all of its many similarities with Halo, Destiny is also shaping up to be something quite different. The game is often referred to as a shared open world atmosphere, which means players will be able to witness together events happening in real-time that are not controlled by the developer. The game has even been called "the next evolution of gaming."
Just like Halo evolved the multiplayer console experience over a decade ago, Destiny seems set to evolve the online open world first-person shooter experience in September. In a statement confirming the game's release date, Bungie community manager DeeJ explained:
We promised to redefine what players should expect from a Bungie game. We said we wanted to change the way people play games together. We set our bar high. For us, Destiny represents a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Although Titanfall has been a success for Electronic Arts and Microsoft simply by being well received and capturing gamers on Xbox consoles, it never really had the potential to be a Halo-sized success since it never aspired to dramatically change the way games are played.
Activision-Blizzard's Destiny is quite different, as it seeks to truly offer gamers something unique and that has never been seen before. With acclaimed developer Bungie at the helm, Destiny seems to have what it takes to be the next Halo-sized success.