Here's Why 'Destiny' Didn't Actually Make $US500 Million In 24 Hours

Girl on fire destinyActivision/BungieThe highly-anticipated ‘Destiny’ title went on sale Tuesday. It’s the next game from developer Bungie, responsible for the ‘Halo’ franchise.

Wednesday morning, Activision, the publisher behind new video game “Destiny” released an announcement regarding its first day sales.

The announcement has led to several reports suggesting that “Destiny,” an apocalyptic shooter set in the future, has made $US500 million in its first 24 hours.

However, a close read of the announcement released, shows this isn’t the case.

Here’s a portion of the release which was sent our way Wednesday morning:
ACTIVISION SELLS IN MORE THAN $US500 MILLION OF DESTINY
WORLDWIDE AS OF DAY ONE
Destiny is the Most Successful New Video Game Franchise Launch of All Time
Destiny is the Highest-Selling Day One Digital Console Release in History
On Track to Become Activision’s Next Billion Dollar Franchise

Santa Monica, CA — September 10, 2014 — Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that the company sold more than $US500 million of Destiny into retail stores and first parties worldwide as of day one, making the game the biggest new video game franchise launch in history.

“Based on extraordinary audience demand, retail and first party orders worldwide have exceeded $US500 million for Destiny,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “This industry milestone marks another blockbuster success for our company and demonstrates our unique ability to create some of the most successful entertainment franchises in the world. The success of Destiny, along with the recent introduction of Blizzard Entertainment’s Hearthstone, is further validation of our unique capabilities to create great entertainment franchises from the ground up.”

Destiny launched at over 11,000 midnight openings around the world, as fans in over 178 countries (Source: Radian6) shared their fervor on YouTube and in social media.

There are two important parts to note here.

“Sell-in” does not mean the same as sales generated.

Activision is merely reporting the value of the total games it has shipped into stores across the world. This number does not reflect the “sell-through” rate. Currently, we do not know the first day sales or units sold for “Destiny.” What we do know is that Activision has more than $US500 million worth of the game on the market.

The release this morning is very similar to another one last November from the company when it announced a sale of $US1 billion worth of its latest “Call of Duty” title, “Call of Duty: Ghosts.”

The initial release sent media into a swirl mis-reporting that “Call of Duty: Ghosts” made $US1 billion in 24 hours, a figure that would have made it the fastest-selling game title in one day.

A few days later, Activision CFO Dennis Durkin clarified during a conference call that the $US1 billion number was a “sell-in” number, according to Forbes. The actual sales figures for “COD: Ghosts” within the first 24 hours was less than its previous “Call of Duty” title, “Black Ops 2.” Activision reported a $500 million “sell-through” number for “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.”

Here’s how Activision’s stock (ATVI) has moved since the announcement this morning.

We’ve reached out to Activision for comment.

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