Bungie has seen what has happened with the launches of every high profile online game in the last couple years, and they want to avoid having the launch of Destiny be a major fiasco. So they're having a beta in the first half of next year, and they want a million people "crashing against it."
"From our perspective as a developer, it's hard to fault GTA Online for caving under something like 10 million players trying to hit servers at the same time," Bungie's Eric Osborne told IGN. "We need people to play story, multiplayer and co-op. We need them to go and create characters so we can understand those systems and what they mean for us. We need lots of people to hit the servers at the same time, see how they use guns and play the early stuff, what the competitive multiplayer looks like with many different levels. Working on Destiny every day doesn't compare with a million gamers crashing against it.
"We'll forge it in fire and hopefully that'll make it a better experience day one for everybody."
The beta, though, is only open to folks who pre-order the game, which is counterintuitive.