Inside the EMP Museum on Monday evening, tailored suits and cocktail dresses filled the massive building as high-powered executives brushed shoulders with award-winning rappers and Super Bowl champions.
A short drive up Interstate-5 at University Village, however, the scene was a little different as 15 gaming fans stood outside the Microsoft Store. At the front of the line was Matthew, a boy who was waiting since 4:30 p.m., and just behind him was Micah and Christine, both who came equipped with caffeinated cups of Starbucks coffee.
The vibes couldn’t have been more different, but they shared a common theme: Destiny.
Tuesday at midnight marked the official debut of Destiny, the highly-anticipated game developed by Bellevue-based Bungie that’s already being hailed as one of 2014’s best titles. Destiny is Bungie’s first non-Halo game since it spun off from Microsoft in 2007, and the first-person shooter launches today on the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. It was the most pre-ordered new IP in video game history.
Bungie held a fancy launch party just near downtown Seattle at the EMP, complete with tasty appetizers, multiple bars and of course several PS4 gaming stations. The company also invited some big-name stars to the event including Common, the well-known rapper from Chicago.
“It’s so much fun, man. It’s a whole new world,” Common told GeekWire after spending time playing Destiny. “I was sitting there, and it’s like, man, I’m being transformed into a new place. It’s a special game.”
Common is a big fan of Call of Duty, and said he also “goes way back to some of the old stuff, too.”
“I like games, but they got to be real standout games, like this,” he added.
Seahawks All-Pro safety Earl Thomas was in attendance, as was Sounders FC defender and World Cup star DeAndre Yedlin, who I actually beat in FIFA 14 back in July. Yedlin said he loved Halo, and Destiny seemed similar.
“It’s awesome,” he noted.
But better than FIFA?
“I mean, I’m biased — I play the sport,” Yedlin said. “I can’t say it’s better than FIFA, but it’s close.”
An hour earlier, we spent some time speaking with the diehard gamers waiting outside the Microsoft Store in University Village.
With about three hours until the midnight launch, there were 15 people waiting outside the store. Here’s what some of them had to say about Destiny:
“The main reason why I’m here is because I’m a Halo fan. Destiny will probably have a really good story mode and since it’s related to Halo and made by the same company, it’s going to be just as good. They always come up with the best campaigns. For all Halo fans that are out there, I’m surprised that this isn’t as big as the Halo 4 launch because this is basically a next generation of Halo.” — Matthew Safley, first in line since 4:30 p.m.
“Bungie was the developer for Halo, and I loved it, so the next game is obviously huge. The fact that it’s a shooter and has an MMO aspect to it — to kind of combine the shooter aspect with an MMO style is perfect. It’s the two things I like, molded together.” — Micah Thomas (left)
“I like the fact that it’s a first-person shooter game, and the graphics are amazing. I love that. The storyline is pretty cool, too. That’s what appealed to me.” — Christine Sorensen (right)
“I’ve been waiting for the game for over a year, since the first E3 trailer. When they showed the game, I was hooked on it. I couldn’t wait. Bungie is making it, they are splitting off from Halo and I kind of like that they are going a different way. I played the beta and people say it’s like Halo, but I felt totally different about it. The controls are different, and it’s not really like Halo.” — Kayden Brost
“This is the very first game I’ve ever waited out for. I think it’s just game-changing. A lot of other games have gotten bites and pieces of what would work. Fallout 3 did a really good job of being a first person shooter and RPG, but it was missing any kind of socialization. The best you could do was talk to your friends about it, whereas with Destiny, you’re playing with others to take down the big baddies.” — Mike Dymond-Shaw
“Halo was all pretty much multiplayer-based, but this game will be a different style, kind of like an MMO, with cooperative gameplay. It’s unique. I think it will be better than Halo.” — Andy Nguyen
“I think it’s hard to say how Destiny will do because with Halo it was a sleeper hit. It was right when the system came out and no one knew about it — then it was surprisingly good. With Destiny, Bungie has 10 years of hype behind them and they spent so much money making it, and Activision is banking on it. It’s like if you tell someone a movie is awesome and they go in expecting it and it was really good, but you built it up so much. That’s my only concern for Destiny. But I really enjoyed what they had [on beta]. I love Bungie stuff; I played the beta and it was pretty fun. I trust Bungie — they haven’t let me down in the past.” — Carsten Quinton