Activision's Call of Duty XP fan convention doesn't kick off until tomorrow, but company executives gathered on the site of the event today to give analysts an update on the business behind its first-person shooter series. During the event, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg revealed a number of stats to underscore both the size of the Call of Duty fan base and its willingness to pay for more of the series.
Hirshberg said to date, Call of Duty: Black Ops players have combined to purchase 18 million map packs for the game. Since the game launched, Activision has released four separate map packs, each with a $15 price point. The post-release content has pushed the average amount spent on the game to $76 per user, Hirshberg said, enough to buy the game and a map pack at full price and then some.
By comparison, the average Modern Warfare 2 player spent roughly $74 on the game, while Activision pegged the average for Call of Duty: World at War players at $72. (World at War map packs cost $10 each instead of the $15 commanded by its successors' add-ons.)
Successful as Black Ops has been, Activision has even higher hopes for November's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Hirshberg said the game is posting record preorders and that Activision expects it to break the record set by Black Ops "by a significant margin." To help boost that margin, Activision is supporting Modern Warfare 3 with what Hirshberg said is the largest marketing campaign in the company's history.
Hirshberg also touched on Call of Duty: Elite, the social service surrounding Modern Warfare 3. While he didn't say how much Elite's premium-tier service would cost, Hirshberg said it would be priced to be "a no-brainer to the community." It won't just be the hardcore crowd that gets into Elite, he suggested. According to Activision's internal research, 25 percent of Call of Duty players who don't buy downloadable content expressed a strong interest in Elite's premium-tier service.
For more on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, check out GameSpot's previous coverage and check back for continuing coverage of this weekend's Call of Duty XP.