Destiny isn't performing as well as Activision would like

Destiny isn't performing as well as Activision would like

Sci-fi MMO franchise Destiny isn't meeting the expectations of publisher Activision Blizzard.

That's according to COO and president Collister Johnson who, speaking to investors - as transcribed by Seeking Alpha - said that the company was very happy with the bulk of its recent launches, but that Destiny isn't hitting the numbers it would like.

Whether this is a case of Activision having impossible dreams for Bungie's sci-fi series, or whether the game is actually underperforming, is unclear.

"Our recent major launches for World of Warcraft, Call of Duty, and Candy were all very successful and will set the stage for continued opportunities in 2019. Some of our other franchises, like Destiny, are not performing as well as we'd like, and we're working to accelerate the pace of live operations innovation and improve the speed with which we release new content to keep our players engaged and to provide new opportunities for monetisation."

Asked to be a bit more specific by Drew Cum from Stifel, Nicolaus and Co, Johnson said that despite the success and perceived quality of the recently-launched Forsaken expansion - which saw Destiny's playerbase triple on launch - there was still work to re-engage the game's core audience.

"I guess I'd start by reiterating that Forsaken is a high-quality expansion of content into the universe," he said.

"Honestly, it's the highest-quality content we've seen in the franchise to date. It really came out of Activision and Bungie working together to address community concerns post-Destiny 2 holistically. Talking to players, we knew it came from users really doing a fundamental review of how to offer a deeper end-game, greater powers and greater rewards, and engage players who seemed to be really enjoying the content. In particular, it was very well received both by reviewers and by the community, and has ongoing deepening engagement by those that are playing it.

"At BlizzCon, we announced that Destiny, the base game is free for two weeks, meaning download it by November 18, and you get to keep the base game forever. We did that because we want the whole community loaded up and able to play it, but also because it's a live game. And once you're in it, with the ongoing features and services and content, there's really deep engagement that takes place. And part of it was also because we have not yet seen the full core reengage in Destiny, which has led to the underperformance against our expectations to date. Some players we think are still in wait-and-see mode. So when you're in, you're deeply engaged. If you're not, we're hoping now is the time to work and to bring players back in and to win them back."

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.