Update May 1, 2018: Destiny 2 is officially "the largest PC launch in Activision history based on units."
It was also the second-highest-grossing console game of 2017 in North America, behind Call of Duty: WWII - another Activision property.
If you want a glimpse of the future, check out our list of upcoming PC games.
That’s according to Activision-Blizzard’s proxy statement (a financial statement required whenever a firm solicits shareholder votes, usually filed in advance of an annual shareholders’ meeting - which in ActiBlizz’s case is scheduled for June 26).
According to the 2017 summary on page 9, “Activision-Blizzard generated a record $2.21 billion in annual operating cash flow” during last year, while “Activision delivered record segment operating income of over $1 billion, with record operating margin of 38%.”
Operating margin is a measure of profitability. It's slightly speculative to say so, but this record percentage likely reflects successful digital sales, which have very low costs (both COD: WWII's season pass and Destiny 2's expansion pass are name-checked in the summary). So for all that Destiny fans liked to complain about loot boxes and lacklustre DLC, many of them still aren't complaining with their wallets.
It's a story reflected on the Blizzard side of the business. Big Blue “delivered record segment revenues and operating income for a year with no major game release, as they continued to deliver continuous content across franchises including Overwatch, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft.”
Comment sections and Twitch chats around Destiny 2 are full of opinions that the game is dead, but after this kind of success, no-one should doubt Activision or Bungie's resolve to bring it back to life.
Destiny is going nowhere.
Original story July 12, 2017: Research firm SuperData think Activision aren’t going to regret releasing Destiny 2 on PC. In fact, they’re projecting that the shooter will sell three million copies in its first three months on our platform.
It’ll be the best-selling full-priced game since Overwatch, they say. Over all platforms, they are predicting that it’ll sell up to five million in its first three months, meaning hungry PC players will make up over half the game’s digital audience.
The forecast was created by looking at the first game’s sales and comparing it to other games released in the same period. It also takes into account the launch date, its Battle.net release, and other factors.
“As the buzz around specific titles continues to grow within the digital gaming industry as a whole, the forecaster offers a unique starting point for those thinking about sales scenarios,” Sam Barberie, vice president of product and business development at SuperData Research, says. “By pairing this with the SuperData Arcade, the digital gaming industry can now have a clearer picture of what drives sales success and how their future releases could gain an advantage.”
These forecasts will be changing monthly, however, reacting to announcements and trailer releases. It should provide an accurate ballpark figure, though.