After nearly two years of rumors and leaks, the Halo franchise architects at Bungie have finally lifted the veil on their next project: Destiny.
Part of a 10-year publishing deal with Activision, Destiny is a persistent-world console shooter where players create and customize their identities and gear in order to venture across a future vision of our own solar system on quests to gather loot and defeat evil.
"If you fail, the last light of civilization will go out," a teaser trailer featuring concept art at the reveal event promised. The world of Destiny doesn't rely on a single hero for salvation, but a community of Guardians, all exploring the galaxy in an effort to save the system and craft their unique legends.
Bungie has made significant investments in the game's multiplayer component to emphasize cooperative play. Single-player purists will be able to quest as a Guardian throughout the galaxy; however, in order to "realize the vision of the game," Destiny will require a constant internet connection on all platforms regardless of play style.
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says that maintaining the vision of Bungie's shooter is key to the always-on requirement, adding "that's the only reason for that restriction." As for player investment to enter the world of Destiny, Hirshberg says that there are "absolutely no plans to charge a subscription fee."
As players explore the world of Destiny, Bungie's network code will constantly work to match players within proximity of each other when they enter public areas (such as quest areas, towns and more). While the concept sounds like an MMO, Bungie says players shouldn't expect to see town squares littered with hundreds of players. "[The] amount of players you see is design controlled," Bungie COO Pete Parsons said, adding it's "not about stuffing as many people in there as possible."
Bungie teased how it will bring the new franchise to multiple devices, showcasing a planned mobile app that would give players statistical information, background on their adventures and notifications of in-world events and invites.
Activision and Bungie have officially announced Destiny for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. With Activision's 2013 guidance ignoring any possible profit from a Bungie release, it's likely that Destiny won't be ready to be unleashed until after the next generation of consoles hit store shelves.
For more on Destiny, read Joystiq's detailed written preview, contract comparison feature, and video preview.