Bungie’s Halo days are behind them and now it’s time to see what they can do with an entirely new franchise. People don’t warm up to new things that easily, but I guess when you’re Bungie you can do whatever the hell you want.
Which is why in addition to requiring an always-on Internet connection, it’s now likely Destiny will feature micro-transactions as well.
Twitter user and Kotaku columnist Superannuation tweeted on April 29 the possibility of monetization in Destiny: “Guy working on Destiny working on ‘monetization modeling’.” His source, the LinkedIn profile of Bungie’s Senior Director of Product Management, Ryan Wener. Here’s what it reads under his current occupation:
“Currently leading marketing activities for the hotly-anticipated new gaming universe Destiny under development at Bungie, the creators of Halo.”
“Leading a cross-functional (and cross-company) team through planning across a wide variety of business and marketing issues, including: marketing strategy, product strategy, monetization modeling, partnership & business development, and more.”
Remember, Destiny is developed under Activision, who previously monetized Call of Duty: Black Ops II with micro-transactions for in-game bonuses. Considering the amount of money Bungie and Activision are pouring into Destiny, its financially reasonable to ensure every profitable possibility is in the game.
As long as Bungie isn’t sacrificing its critical acclaim for commercial success, then gamers shouldn’t have a problem with this. It’s also just as likely that Bungie is just that confident in Destiny.
Where Maxis slipped up and underestimated the amount of traffic its servers would get — notoriously causing The Great SimCity Crash of 2013 — Bungie remains confident in its servers and in its ability to monetize past the initial purchase price and inevitable DLC.
If they haven’t already, the folks at Bungie would be wise to take a page out of BioWare Austin’s monetization playbook. In a recent Gamasutra feature, BioWare’s Damion Schubert talked about how not to oversell monetization and to focus on getting players to fall in love with the game first.
I agree. If you’re listening Bungie, don’t make us aware of the fact that we should (or *gasp* need) to purchase something within the first 10 minutes of even first few hours of the game. Just let us enjoy the purchase we made before asking us to make another purchase. It’s not just good game design, it’s good manners.