Destiny is almost here! Which you probably already know, if not then I’m very curious how you came across this article. Do I know you from Twitter? Probably.
Anyway, getting back to the point, Bungie’s upcoming online shooter looks like it’s going to be a blast. Just days before release Bungie have announced a rather interesting offer: buy the game for last gen, get it for next gen too. So we pay for the lesser version and get the superior version anyway? What’s the catch, folks?
It turns out, basically nothing. Beyond the fact that both versions have to be digital, there really isn’t any ugly loopholes or nasty surprises to speak of. However it still makes really good business sense for a few reasons, which I’ll go into below.
Before we begin, allow me to just quickly say I have no insider information whatsoever. This is all 100% speculation by a fellow fan.
They Want You To Buy It Digitally
If you were planning on grabbing Destiny for the 360 then chances are you weren’t going to get it for Xbox One for a while. Same deal for the PS3 version. By offering the versions digitally they’re losing 0 stock that would be on store shelves. Furthermore every copy sold in a shop has its profits sliced up. Selling it digitally gives Activision and Bungie a bigger cut, sorry Amazon.
It’s An Online Game, Every Player (Theoretically) Has Access To Download It
This point is kind of summed up by the title. Destiny requires internet access to play. Unlike something like Halo, which has an offline story mode, Destiny’s audience is online. Meaning in theory every member of the audience can take advantage of this deal. I’m not sure if they’d have bothered if this was something like Dragon Age, where the multiplayer is an extra and not the main course.
Getting A PS4 Or Xbox One Over The Holidays? Then Why Not Buy Destiny Now?
Sales of both current-gen systems are going to bump up over the holidays. That’s just how things work. I wager right now there are a lot of people who have eyed up their chosen system and are waiting to grab it over the next few months. Well, by taking advantage of this deal you can grab yourself a title for free! In theory anyway, kind of. If you’re going to get Destiny for PS4/Xbox One in the holidays then why not just buy it now for PS3/360? You get to play it now in advance and at a cheaper price! So what do Bungie and Activision get out of this? Sales.
Publishers love showing off about how their games broke records or had the strongest launch in X month ever etc. By pulling those future-customers into present-customers it pushes those launch week sales even higher.
The Big One: You Can’t Trade In A Digital Game
Finally, what I’d wager is the most popular reason for green lighting this deal: pre-owned games. It’s a fact that they eat a chunk out of publisher profits as shops can get away with selling the game on with no money going back to the creators. Lots of people will be looking to grab Destiny over the next few weeks by going for a pre-owned copy. Bungie don’t want anybody to do that. By pushing people to choose a digital copy via this deal they’re limiting the number of boxed copies that will be back in the shop.
I think this is a good deal for us consumers and for the publisher. They win, for the above reasons, and we win as we get to take advantage of this if we want. That’s the key to why this is so preferable to all the other attempts at circumventing the pre-owned market, it doesn’t impact anybody who doesn’t care. Don’t give a crap about owning a 360/PS3 version? Cool! Just don’t buy it. Meanwhile things like online passes just hurt the consumer even though they’re doing something understandable: getting money to the people that actually made the damn thing.
If successful we might see this duplicated. It’s already very reminiscent of the upgrade option we saw for some cross generation games last year, but unless I’m remembering incorrectly they had a fee attached? Meanwhile, this is totally free so I think this is actually pretty cool.
Your opinion may differ, maybe you hate this and think it stinks of greed. That’s cool, I respect and am curious to hear any alternative opinions. For me though this seems pretty good and is something I’m going to take advantage of…
… At least that’s what I’d say if my boxed copy hadn’t already been paid for and dispatched. D’oh!