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Activision is pouring a lot of money and attention into Destiny, a new shooter game from Bungie — the creators of the Halo franchise — and wanted everyone to be talking about it after E3.
Well, mission accomplished. Mostly.
An early-access alpha version debuting after the gaming trade show seems to have clicked, with Bungie reporting some 6.5 million rounds of Destiny played in about a week. Strong pre-orders prompted analysts at Cowen and Company to predict that the game will go on to sell between 10 million and 15 million copies when it comes out in September.
But ask the peanut gallery online, and the Destiny alpha will be remembered mainly for the voice-over lines of “Game of Thrones” actor Peter Dinklage, who plays a flying robot called a Ghost. Gamer critics said the normally riveting actor’s performance “sound[ed] phoned-in” (if you want to judge for yourself, here’s a gameplay video made by Kotaku).
The crème de la crème for hecklers on the interwebs: A monotone reading of the goofy line, “That wizard came from the moon.”
As Ben Kuchera at Polygon described it: “It’s like going on an amazing ride at Disneyland, but the normally exciting music has been replaced by a bored man making armpit farts sitting next to you.” Ow.
The line, naturally, became a memetic touchstone for Destiny alpha players — something Bungie quickly seized upon with a limited-edition shirt, with profits going to charity. One hour after release, the shirt was the best-selling item in the developer’s online store.
The shirt is no longer available, though, and it looks like the party’s over. Bungie says Dinklage’s dialogue “has already been updated” for the next preview phase of Destiny, a bigger beta that begins in mid-July for PlayStation consoles and in late July for Xboxes.
“Funny thing about Alpha builds … they’re not done,” the company wrote in a blog post on Friday. “Please pardon our Moon dust!”
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