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A cashcar named Destiny: Using Trophies to check if your monetization is working

Trophies are useful vor gamedevelopers/publishers, too

Playing Destiny on PS4 I recently looked at some interesting numbers in the context of my Trophies.

As to be expected: the Ultra-Rare trophies center around the „Raid“, the endgame-content that is practically only accessible to you if you played daily multiple hours since launch.

Around 12% of All Players to this day completed the Raid (Only 0.77% on Hard difficulty).

At the moment Destiny has no microtransactions, no monthly fee (besides the PSN-membership) only the entrance ticket of 60$. Bungievisions plan for Destiny is at the moment to release at least 4 titles over the next 10 years with 4 major DLCs (codename Comet) and some minor DLCs.

For this financial model to work you basically need a part of your playerbase that purchases your content updates on a regular basis. And this part hast to be big enough to endure the natural occuring splitting of the community, if most players have differnt versions of DLC.

With Bungies rumoured 500 employees you can estimate the operating costs of Destiny around 100M $ per year. Destinys launch-success (it sold at least 6M units during ist first month ) despite mediocre reviews could be enough to cover the costs of developing the IP over the course of 5 years (First hints at Destiny appeared in Halo 3:ODST,2009 ).

Since PS4 is the biggest platform for Destiny we will extrapolate the numbers for all other platforms. The 2 upcoming DLCs are sold for 20$ each, looking at the trophy numbers the 12% of Players that completed the Raid will almost certainly purchase the first 2 DLCS (everyone of them has a new Raid in it) that are 7-800K players that will bring in around 30M Dollars in the first half of 2015.

The next group of players is a bit more tricky, 16% of all Players are organized in clans, if we subtract the 12% players that completed the Raid (which are almost certainly clanmembers) that gives another 4% or 250K/10 M revenue. 28% of all Players earned the maximum weekly crucible (PvP) score, to achieve this you have to clock in around 40 games, (you earn 2,5 crucible marks on average, winner 3, loser 2), which is around 10 hours of constant PvP (time for matchmaking, lost connections etc. is included), thats another 12% (28-16) of players that will potentially buy your DLC because it includes new maps, but you cant be sure that they won`t migrate to your direct competitors (Halo, CoD etc.), even  calculating with one- third (4) is generous, so that brings in another 10M, so we reached the magic number of 50M $ revenue for the first half of the next year.

Now begins the fun part, where your big studio is actually earning profit (that is if you manage to release at least 2 DLCs every 6 months.

Looking at the backside of the coin: only 61 percent of all players seem to have even touched the PVP aspect of Destiny and 18% of all players never even completed a strike. Ist highly likely that these 18% and the 39% who specialized in either PvP or PvE will not buy any of your DLC, because 50% o fit is useless for them. So there is a margin between 20% of your userbase that almost certainly will buy your DLC and 57% who almost certianly will not buy it.

From an outsiders view Bungievisions financial fundament seems solid enough, at the moment there is imo no reason to change any of the things that will keep this boat afloat.

So I don`t expect to see any Microtransactions in the foreseeable future.


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