Modern Warfare 2 over 22% of Nov. game sales - Analysts

Industry trackers expect NPD numbers to underscore importance of Activision shooter, say overall software revenues grew or at least matched last year's levels.

It doesn't take a particularly insightful analyst to realize Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is big. However, Pacific Crest's Evan Wilson and Wedbush's Michael Pachter are offering some perspective on just how big it really is.

Modern Warfare 2 could account for one out of every $4 spent on games in the US last month.

The analysts have released their expectations for the industry-tracking NPD Group's November US retail gaming industry sales figures, which are expected to be announced Thursday afternoon. Wilson said November software sales should be about flat year-over-year at $1.45 billion, while Pachter predicted a 7 percent jump over the penultimate month of 2008 to $1.55 billion.

In both cases, Modern Warfare 2 played a pivotal part in the analysts' estimates. Wilson projected that the Infinity Ward-developed shooter sold 5 million units in the US across its various regular and premium edition packages, while Pachter expected sales "around 6 million."

"Modern Warfare comprises an estimated 25 percent of this month's industry sales," Wilson said. "While this is not out of the ordinary for a tent-pole title in a non-holiday month, it is impressive given our forecast that this November's sales will match the month's highest historical total on record. For comparison, Halo 2 reached 20 percent of industry sales in November 2004. The next highest share taker was Guitar Hero III at 12 percent in November 2007."

Pachter's figures had Modern Warfare 2 making up a little less than 23 percent of the industry's software sales for the month. The analyst also expects New Super Mario Bros. Wii (1.2 million units sold), Assassin's Creed 2 (1.2 million copies sold after going through 1.6 million worldwide in its debut week), and Left 4 Dead 2 (650,000 units sold) to meaningfully contribute to the month's tally. As for other big name releases, Pachter pegged Dragon Age: Origins sales at 400,000, Band Hero at 150,000, and the $120 Tony Hawk: Ride skateboard peripheral bundle at 100,000.

Wilson expressed a little more optimism about the biggest games beyond Modern Warfare 2, expecting Assassin's Creed 2 to rack up 1.4 million sales, with Left 4 Dead 2 reaching 800,000 copies sold.

Unfortunately, the outlook on hardware sales wasn't as cheery. Pachter expects revenues from consoles and handhelds to be down a whopping 25 percent from last November for a number of reasons. One of the main reasons is that November 2008 was a tough act to follow, with the Wii enjoying record-setting console sales of 2 million. Pachter expects that last month's Wii total will work out to just over 1 million.

Pachter also expects the number of Xbox 360 sales to be down 22 percent from the previous November. While the analyst said Microsoft is in a position to lower the system's price to spur sales, he instead expects the company to boost interest with "a more feature-packed Xbox 360 in early 2010." One of the added features, he added, is likely to be a 250GB hard drive.

"As 2009 draws to an end, it is clear that it will end as a horrible year for video game publishers," Pachter said. "Notwithstanding a small rebound to sales growth in September, sales have been down seven of the last eight months, and although we expect modest sales growth in November, we think that sales are likely to track back into negative territory in December…Once we're past the holidays, we expect solid software sales gains each month through October 2010."

The NPD Group is expected to announce its US game retail sales figures Thursday evening.

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235 comments
TheRealUser101
TheRealUser101

MW3 will have Task Force 141 Captain John "Soap" MacTavish and SAS Captain John Price play a vital role in the game. All the singleplayer elements in MW3 like weapons and such will be upgraded; they showed the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 mission "Mind the Gap" where the SAS operatives are carrying new perks and such.

Gamesmasterx
Gamesmasterx

@yahooforpoop You do realise that not everyone likes this game right? I myself got bored at level 18. Not because I suck, considering my K/D is higher than most peoples. I just find the MP really boring, and after doing veteran campaign and veteran solo spec ops, there isn't anything else to do.

yahooforpoop
yahooforpoop

@ownageguy cmon admit it, pc gaming is DEAD unless its released by Blizzard.

yahooforpoop
yahooforpoop

People who are complaining about Modern Warfare 2 being hype are just trying to be cool by saying they dont like it. dont act like you dont own the game and your not already in prestige. This game is a milestone, stop trying to be hip by going against the curve.

Henninger
Henninger

This doesnt surprise me @ all.

Blastalot5
Blastalot5

Publishers should release hits year round instead of waiting for the holiday season. During the late Spring into Summer I have nothing to play then October hits and I have more games I want to play than time to play them. So naturally I picked the best and went for MW2

Cabal23
Cabal23

@tbs76 Why is it retarded (stellar choice of 12 year old words there) that certain people have more time than you to play a game? Do you realize if any of those people at the top stop playing they too sink to the bottom? Sounds like a bad drug to me. One you care way too much about. I play to kill people. Not for a ranking that changes...daily.

Cheesemanook
Cheesemanook

This isn't a surprise to me, every gamer i know has this game.

tbs76
tbs76

Its freakin retarded how many people bought MW2. I am only level 50 in mulitplayer while many of my opponents are on there 2 prestige or greater. I take one day off from playing and my rank drops about 30 to 40 thousand. I love MW2 but I cant keep up. My only grip was the single player should have been a little longer and I hope they can incorporate coop in the story for the next installment. Well, at least we know Activision and Infinity Ward will be having a Merry Christmas.

francoislr
francoislr

We are just all jealous cause we don't have the same bonus check IW and Activision got for christmas. Love it or hate it - they are the winners and not us.

OwnageGuy
OwnageGuy

mw2 could have been made way better if they focused on pc. as we all know pc has limitless possiblities. imo its kinda overrated. i think ill keep on playin cod4 thanks.

buft
buft

go go lower ps3 price , its still over priced in relation to its competition

doktron
doktron

Not Surprising since there havnt been very many decent games made this year, especially for the PC. MW2 is a decent game but could have been better if they focused on developing the game for the PC, instead of dumbing it down for the consoles.I have all the COD games and I am dissappointed in MW2, especially the multiplayer portion.I probably wont be buying the next COD or MW3 game.Maybe in futur developers should focus a little more on the PC, since PC gamers tend to be more mature (and older) and have more cash to spend on PC games(not relying on mom & pop, birthdays,christmas,etc. in order to get the latest console title).I used to buy 1 or 2 games every month;this year I bought only 3 games,because the PC has been deserted as a primary game console. BTW:I wonder how many xbox360 games are boosted from retailers,compared to PC games illegally downloaded. one more thing: Nuke boosting cheat - I thought the dumb down multiplayer was supposed to prevent these kind of things.Good!Serves them right!

KillerWabbit23
KillerWabbit23

@juan9969: Jeez, that should be adressed in a patch. I hope. But what game isn't filled with cheaters/laggers/hackers? Oh well. Anyway, this news isn't surprising. At all.

ClevBeast
ClevBeast

I am surprised that sales have reduced over the last 12 months as much as stated as i've spent more than any previous year. Totally understand the hardware sales drop though, well up until the Slim and great offers on new 360's

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

@ juan9969 I agree with what you were talking about but did you really just say jerkasses?

juan9969
juan9969

There a lot of people out there who have called in the Nuke and did not earn it. Here's how they did it: Its usually done with two mutual players. One equips his/herself with the Tactical Insertion perk, the other equips the Tactical Nuke. When the match begins, the two players meet at a location that is usually away from the others, as not to get killed. The one with the Tactical Insertion sets his flare. The other with the Nuke kills him. The flare makes the that player re-spawn in that same place, the other player kills him again. The process is repeated multiple times until a 25 kill streak is met and the nuke is called in. This is total bull****! While other are really trying their best in the match, you have these jerkasses cheating and ruining the entire match.

athenian29
athenian29

Note the speed with which this article turns into a flame war, despite being nothing more than a summary of nonpartisan, unbiased, and analytical sales figures and projections.

juan9969
juan9969

they need to make an update for modern warfare 2. i hate those nuke boosting ppl they are ruining the game!. arrgggh

ThisIsntLeonard
ThisIsntLeonard

Modern Warfare 2 was the epitome of Halo 3:ODST. A game that is made out to have a great single-player experience, but in actuality is entirely made to play online. Online is fun. But games need meat to sustain playability. MW2 has none.

MachShot
MachShot

@Sepewrath Oh, you mean like with the Wii? At least 360/PS3 owners have software to buy, buy the software, and play the software.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Sepewrath you make a perfect point who is looking to purchase a console. I am so past that it makes no sense. The only console that stands to grow is PS3 due to the number of consumers without one. People want content not just a system. Analyst prove no point with this arguement. I don't think they are even aware that the companys lose money on consoles except for Wii. I understand that game sales are down but that has nothing to do with console sales. Jobless rate is ridiculous. For me personally it would mean buy more games to keep me busy while I look for a job..... Well it did at one point! But since I am working I have no time to play games so I buy less. How Ironic???

mygunz
mygunz

oh ya world at war 2 will match or even top this.maybe the 10 kills in a row will unleash the zombies on the other team

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

I don't know why people keep going on about hardware sales. Its been 4 years since these consoles started coming out. Its not like there are millions of people waiting for a specific price point. If they went 3 or 4 years without the console and given the average console lifespan they probably think they can do without one, especially in a time where disposable income is hard to come by. It's no surprise MW2 dominated the market, Activision did a great job of creating demand. I'm sure alot of people bought the game thinking the really really wanted it, but they were just taken in by the hype train.

oneligas
oneligas

i find it comical that these games were named Modern Warfare because they take place in the near future and if they were modern in the warfare they would be in Iraq/Afghanistan and then they would of got nothing but bad publicity and been canceled. i think they should of been called Near Future Warfare but then all the halo haters would instantly hate the game because the future interferes with realism that CoD fans can't get enough off.

maverick_76
maverick_76

I would say that there are plenty more opportunities for hardware sales but that market share won't buy until the prices come to around $100. It will be another couple of years before the systems can do that and still profit, so I do see sales slowing until at least next Christmas.

oneligas
oneligas

come on people all the Game of the Year awards were going to CoD:MW2 no matter what a foul turd it is to some. i did not buy the game and i watched a friend play just a level of the "story" and i was laughing my back side off at the agony that game but him through. the multiplayer is annoying and snipers are lame, online i saw a fool sniper hide in the same spot and get stabbed in the back 3 times and that is typically why CoD is a multiplayer nightmare any game that encourages camping like a tree and not short term camp-run-hide tactics is a joke.

kamizuka
kamizuka

Gamespot! what the Hell!!!??! i hope your geting payed enough to post that pop-loed of news about this game!

Ric_SlayeR
Ric_SlayeR

So MW2 is problably going to be game of the year...

K-Grogg
K-Grogg

Well no sh*t hardware sales are taking a fall. What? Did they expect everyone to buy 3 PS3s and 6 xBox 360s? The market is only so big. Everyone only needs so many gaming systems, and once they have one or two that satisfy their needs, that's that, they aren't going to buy a new one. It would be no surprise to me if the hardware sales kept dropping ever more drastically until the next generation is out. Kinda' makes sense....just kinda'.

metal_militia89
metal_militia89

MW2 does not deserve Game of the Year. It wasn't the whole package. Too short of a campaign. It's one, only, but massive weakness. :-S

Flint247
Flint247

I like Modern Warfare 2. *gets thumbed down by the haters*

firesage423
firesage423

dude i would get back into that argument of pc vs console again but its pointless because pc gamers dont listen to logic other then there own..

Gamelova08
Gamelova08

I'm starting to hate the Call of Duty franchise anyways, they mad Modern Warfare 1 so damn short, and the second one is even shorter! What, they think people get these games just to play online? Not Likely...short campaign is what can really bring down a game, and online play is supposed to be an EXTRA remember when online was new and people had impressions on it?.....yeah, the Treyarch team lied too, "We think for our customers and care for their opinions"....who are the customers then? Noobs to FPS?.........

_Colossus_
_Colossus_

That wasn't a very big surprise, was it? Most of the games have moved their release dates to next year. Since the dawn of the gaming industry you released most of your games right before christmas, something that, for some weird reason, didn't happen this year. I would think that releasing a game before christmas would give you most income, for obvious reasons. Something that is essential these days with the economy and all.

djanderson158
djanderson158

I'm not a COD hater, but I'll have to side on MW2 being meh. I just don't find it to be a giant leap forward at all. I would of expected more to be done with the time in between this and the first MW. L4D2 did more in a year than MW2 did with 2 imho. As for MW2 getting GOTY, I hope it does not get nominated for GOTY. A nominee for best shooter or something, but not GOTY. And I'll probably get thumbed down for saying that. But there are so many choices that I feel are more deserving than MW2. In no particular order: Dragon Age: Origins Uncharted 2 Killzone 2 Assassin's Creed 2 L4D2 Batman: Arkham Asylum Demon's Soul inFamous Of course, there are many more games you can make an argument for GOTY that I do not have listed, like the GTA IV Episodes or Halo 3: ODST. But in regards for MW2 being GOTY, I personally think these games should be nominated for GOTY before MW2 gets a spot.

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

Alot of people who complain about the price of current games seem to keep forgetting that these prices are no different from what they were when the PS2 was around in its earlier years. Brand new games were £39.99 when first released, compare that to what we are getting now for the same price then I'd say we are getting a good deal. Put up/shut up I say

HardCore_PC_Gmr
HardCore_PC_Gmr

PC gaming is even cheaper than console gaming (PS3 or Xbox 360). Around (actually under) $1000 you can really have a powerful PC which is capable of playing modern games without suffer from framerates for MANY years. Also, in todays's information age, one will already have a PC, so he/she already have to pay for the CPU, memory, etc. But at the same time if that person wants to play games also, he/she just buy more powerful GPU. So it is fair to compare the price of a GPU (not a whole PC system) to a console. Do you think you are using your sweet console's browser right now to read my post? I will not deal into other price related details such as the cost of games, peripherals, the cost of repairment, support, etc. (simply i mean "Total Cost of Ownership"). More importantly, there is "price/performance ratio" ? There are tons of examples in favor of PC platform against console platform. For example, do you think the output you get from your consoles is HD? 1080p? Not a chance. 720p? if you are lucky just for some games. People say that lifecyle of the current generation consoles are about 10 years. Same hardware, same API (Application Programming Interface for writing games) for 10 years. Don't you get bored for 10 years for having the same features? Did you know that Xbox 360 uses modified version of DirecX 9.0c? Soon, we will see DirectX 11 games on PC platform. and many more example like above. Best regards,

TheHunt3D
TheHunt3D

Hopefully never; but knowing the Gaming Industry, 13 months!

firesage423
firesage423

so how long do u guys think it will take till they make a lego modern warfare?... they got lego rockband coming and left harry potter, i heard something about a lego halo dont know how far that got..

Lostboy1224
Lostboy1224

Thank God we had this long article to inform us on how important Modern Warfare 2 is to video game sales, or that guy living in the cave might have never figured it out.

TheHunt3D
TheHunt3D

According to the IW CEO, "PC Gamers are a loud minority." They thought the game would sell on hype alone; it saddens me to see that this is indeed the case. If MW 2 wins the GoTY Award, I will lose a lot of faith in the industry that had a large part in shaping what I am today!

Dante200X
Dante200X

Then again, MW2 is still fun from what I've heard, but I don't understand why the hell infinity ward had to shaft PC players all of a sudden. I mean seriously, paying for a digital copy of the game for $60 on steam? Lol! I even knew some people (big groups/clans) who were even planning on buying a MW2 server... >_

ricardo-sene
ricardo-sene

I don't know why @Mattius04 got so many negatives... He's right when he says "To many new releases" and "games are 60 bucks!!" You have to spend too much to follow the releases.. However, I understand that the prices, besides they're expensive for us, are fair with all the work done.. fortunately, and unfortunately, the game's industry became expensive for everyone (developers included)..

Dante200X
Dante200X

Agreed about MW2 being "meh". I know some people who bought MW2 just because of the hype and because they wanted to try out the experience. I told them they could've just got CoD4...which is true. These are PC players too! Dedicated servers and lower price > non-dedicated servers and higher price

TheHunt3D
TheHunt3D

They have every right to. MW 2 was the weakest CoD game in the series. There are not dedicated servers, no anti-cheat measures, and no lean! On top of this, the short, convoluted campaign plot was hardly worth writing home about.

firesage423
firesage423

now wait for the mw2 haters to get back on, so they can complain about the rock that doesnt look like a rock so they dont like the game.. or something that stupid..