Destiny is the fastest grossing new video game franchise ever

It's been the largest launch of a new video game franchise ever.

Destiny, from the team behind Halo, has sold $500 million worth of games in just one day.

The Activision release continues to break all kinds of records, long after being announced as the most expensive video game ever. It took $500 million for studio Bungie to make – almost $100 more than Avatar, Hollywood's most expensive movie ever.

It's also the most pre-ordered new game in history, and has topped order-tracking surveys continuously for the last six months, according to industry watcher VGChartz.

Fans were queuing overnight to get their hands on the game.

Destiny is set 700 years in the future during a war between humans and a mysterious entity called The Darkness and its alien henchmen.

It mixes online multiplayer shooter mechanics with RPG narrative, following on from the tried-and-true formula of Bioware and its Mass Effect trilogy.

Reviews have been kind, with Edward Smith of IBTimes UK writing: "I love Destiny. It's beaten me. I just want to play it." He does admit that the game's polish did leave him cold.

The Activision game has surpassed all expectations. Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, told CNET: "Destiny appears well-positioned to become Activision Publishing's third billion-dollar franchise."

Pachter now anticipates sales of around 18 million units instead of the 15 million he had previously predicated.

Eric Hirshberg, head of Activision's game division, said: "Since the beginning, we've been confident that our investment and belief in Destiny would pay off. But not many people believed we'd be able to say it did so on day one.

"We have more confidence than ever that Destiny will become of the iconic franchises of this generation, and Activision's next billion dollar brand."

The game is available on PS4 and PS3, and Xbox One and 360 and costs £45.99.