Yes, it's true: Activision is spending half a billion dollars on Bungie's Destiny. Yes, that's true despite Bungie's statement that, "the budget for Destiny, including associated marketing costs and pizza Wednesdays, is nowhere near 500 million dollars." And that's because, when Activision head Bobby Kotick revealed that gargantuan number earlier this year, he was speaking to the entire franchise, not just this September's game.
"That number has been widely misinterpreted as a production number for the first game," Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg explained in an interview today at Gamescom. "That number is an all-inclusive number that's several years worth of investment, including marketing and several games, and a lot of up front investment in things like engines and tools that will be able to be used for years to come."