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Activision pumping $500 million into Bungie's 'Destiny'

The record-setting number does include standard costs, like marketing, packaging, and royalties. But still, the amount is massive.

Gamers got a glimpse of Destiny back in February 2013 at the Sony PlayStation 4 unveiling. Sarah Tew/CNET

Activision is dropping a significant sum of cash into Halo maker Bungie's next franchise, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says.

Speaking at the Milken Conference in Los Angeles last week, Kotick told those on hand that his company is spending $500 million on Bungie's next franchise, Destiny. An Activision spokesperson clarified the Activision CEO's comments a bit to Reuters on Monday, saying that the number, while accurate, includes standard costs, like marketing, packaging, and royalties.

Still, Kotick's figure is massive. It's hard enough to make a profit on a video game, let alone generate the kind of revenue needed to see a return on a $500 million investment. According to Reuters, Activision will need to sell about 16 million copies of Destiny just to break even.

Activision is in desperate need of another blockbuster game. The company's Call of Duty franchise consistently generates boatloads of cash, but its billion-dollar-generation each year is starting to fade as people grow tired of the same gameplay.

Destiny presents a new opportunity for game publisher Activision. Although Activision doesn't own Bungie -- which is now independent after handing over the Halo franchise to its former owner, Microsoft -- Activision has inked a 10-year publishing deal with Bungie, ensuring it has a stake in any game that Bungie makes.

Destiny is set to launch on September 9. The game is a departure from Halo titles, as it's a massively multiplayer online, role-playing, first-person shooter. The game will initially be available on both Sony and Microsoft's previous and current-generation consoles.

CNET has contacted Activision for comment. We will update this story when we have more information.