Modern Warfare 2 sells 20 million, Activision eyeing used market

E3 2010: In analyst presentation, Activision says there's an "insatiable" market for new shooters, aims to be most profitable entertainment company within 10 years; planning ways to get a piece of the $500 million used-game industry.

by

LOS ANGELES--Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has passed another milestone. In a pre-Electronic Entertainment Expo analysts event tonight, Activision announced that the Infinity Ward-developed first-person shooter has now sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.

Activision believes first-person shooter fans have an insatiable appetite for quality examples of the genre.

If that game's success wasn't staggering enough, CEO Bobby Kotick told analysts that the next title, Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops, could possibly do even better. Kotick noted multiple times that the Call of Duty series has grown more successful with each new installment and said that preorders for Black Ops are tracking higher right now than those of Modern Warfare 2 when that game was this far out from release. Black Ops is set for a November 9 debut.

Activision has been ramping up its Call of Duty development schedule with new games in the works from Sledgehammer, Treyarch, and Infinity Ward, and it also has an Asian-focused online game in the works. The publisher even dedicated a business division to the franchise, but there seems to be little worry about flooding the market with Call of Duty titles. During the event, Activision chief operating officer Thomas Tippl said the publisher has recognized the "[first-person shooter] audience has an insatiable appetite for great new content."

The executives covered more than just its popular military shooter series in the event. Kotick set a goal to see Activision become "the world's most profitable entertainment company" in 5 to 10 years. He specifically noted that the most profitable franchises rising to prominence today are originating in gaming and then migrating to other media, where in previous years those properties were more likely to start as films.

One profitable part of the gaming industry Activision is looking to get into is the used-game market. Kotick said the publisher sees a $500 million opportunity in second-hand sales and is considering how it can get a slice of the pie. Rather than opening up its own used-game stores to compete with GameStop, the publisher suggested it would work with existing retailers to come up with new solutions. For example, Kotick suggested offering used sellers some sort of value-added content for a cut of whatever a used Activision game sells for.

Recently, publishers like Electronic Arts have adopted Online Pass models that charge extra for features like a game's online functions. However, new copies of the game are packed with a one-time-use code that grants free access to those features.

Discussion

191 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.

katwomansz
katwomansz

Yes I was able to resell my copy of the original COD MW 1. But PC gamers are blocked from selling COD MW 2 even though I cost $10 more with no resale value. It should sell for $10 LESS than the the Xbox version that can be resold! I'm tired of my computer being USED to host games with no compensation. I'm switching to the Battlefield series that treats its PC players with respect, not just pumping them for extra maps that used to be FREE!

syco_coaster
syco_coaster

All you people can complain all you want about how the game's not memorable, or not well made, or just about a greedy corporation taking advantage of fools. Say what you will, but COD found its audience, and it's not you. Good luck converting people away with your blind and biased rhetoric.

baza66
baza66

At least they are doing one thing smart. I like the idea of having different companies making games for the franchise since each game developer has it's own ideas and they can make titles come out every year as opposed to one company making them and releasing a new title every 2-4 years. Makes it interesting.

baza66
baza66

Anyone else notice that basically they are saying that if you buy a used copy of their upcoming titles then you will have to pay additional money to play multi-player as well? That's crazy. I don't even know if that's legal. That's really gonna kill the used game industry. Typically used games only sell for 10% off the new title. If you have a used game selling for $5 less than new and you have to pay $10 for online gameplay, then there's no point in buying used. I hope they realize this is really going to hurt companies like Gamestop. Gamestop makes much more profit off of used games than they do new games. They couldn't survive without the used game sales to be honest.

Snow_Hawk
Snow_Hawk

"Activision believes first-person shooter fans have an insatiable appetite for quality examples of the genre." If they say so...

EdwardoMario16
EdwardoMario16

Modern Warfare 2 may have milestone sales, but ten years from now, are we going to remember it as a milestone in the industry? Or simply another forgettable cash cow FPS? Just goes to show that you can make half-ass stuff, put a big licence on it and it'll sell. While they are sleazy,the guys at Activision are marketing geniuses. They manage to reel in the fools year after year. There is an insatiable appetite for shooters? True at the moment, but platformers and JRPG's were all the rage once upon a time. Look were both genres are now? FPS' are not going to be popular forever. Sooner or later, people are going to be sick of First Person Shooters and ask for something different. But by all means, Activision, keep milking that cow.

maroon111
maroon111

Argh lol...MW2 reached 20million ..now activision is happy :) Now i hope they unban some players in MW2 :D

zidan4000
zidan4000

it is about dam time before they start charging monthly fees to play online.

Lionman363
Lionman363

20 million? Can't wait to see the sales figures for Modern Warfare 3. Sheesh, granted it was a good game but it wasn't even nearly as good as Call Of Duty 4. I don't think it even deserves 10 millionm sales, but Activision fans will buy anything they throw out nowadays, including the rubbish DLC.

LeJR
LeJR

As far as sales, I think COD is past its prime, and the growing number of knowledgeable customers are turning on Activision, which is music to my ears for sure. They aim to be the most profitable entertainment company? Kotick would like nothing less than to be an entertainment monopoly.

Lach0121
Lach0121

Just another symptom of greed....

osiris
osiris

Anyone else suddenly hold their breath and hope the world doesn't end in fire and brimstone everytime Kotick opens his month?

Devil_2_U
Devil_2_U

News update: gaming companies trying to figure out how to suck the absolute maximum amount of money out of players that the market will bear. They seem to give two &*$ about the community anymore, but how can they without a soul.

severe_009
severe_009

diegotc1307 So for example, if a buy a new car, and after using it I decided to sell it. Then the new owner founds out that the air conditioner is "locked" because it's second hand, so he has to buy a code from the manufacturing company just to unlock the car's air conditioner? That seems unreasonable right?

Akkai_Ookami
Akkai_Ookami

Gee Activision... how could we hate you more. Greed greed and more greed

diegotc1307
diegotc1307

Hey theKSMM, your statement doesn't even make sense. That's just a way of giving you something for buying a new game, but it's all in the freaking disc, so they are not really giving you anything. It's not dumb, it's a good way of getting money out of used games, and it really works. And, just to let you know, the problem here are not prices ,because even if you sell a game for 10 bucks, someone can still sell it used and get 5 bucks, so there are gonna be used games, even if the price is cheap. It's just a matter of getting something cheaper than the new one. The only way to get rid off used game, is digital distribution, but I'm sure we are not ready for that yet, at least not for every game. Your words really doesn't have any logic man, you are just trashing everything cause you really know nothing about business.

theKSMM
theKSMM

This is the dumbest thing in the world to me. Why would the original purchaser want to retain online rights to a game that he no longer owns? Once I sell a game, I have no need for the online component anymore. Separating the two in the interest of generating more "new" sales is just stupid. I know it must frustrate publishers to no end to see Gamestop making all this loot re-selling their used product. (Heck, I'm not crazy about it either.) But they have to accept that their product may not have great long-term value for most of their customers. Once someone has beaten or gotten bored with a particular game, it is probably more valuable as a trade or gift to a friend than as a dust-collector on someone's shelf. Let us trade/gift our games without these foolish restrictions. This is the goofiest thing I've heard since the rumor about discs that would pair themselves with a specific console on first run and then work *only* in that specific system. Ridiculous. You want to kill the used market? Reduce the price of the doggone games.

severe_009
severe_009

Well I agree, with the last post there that they don't have the rights to profit from a game that you have bought, played and sold, cause you have the rights to that product, you can do whatever you want with it, burn it, smash it or sell it.

severe_009
severe_009

And 19 million of those played, got bored, and swap it with other games haha JK, at least they sold 20 million.

severe_009
severe_009

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

xravenblade
xravenblade

They forgot to mention how bad MW2 is.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

@eBentl...I guess they are referring to stuff like ME2's Cerberus network which is free if you bought the game new but you have to pay for if you want access as a used game buyer.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

Appetite for FPS is insatiable huh? What did you say about the Guitar Hero franchise before you ran that one into the ground Bobby?

eBentl
eBentl

Never heard of these Online Pass Codes before, buy if they become mainstream... somebody at EA is getting their kidneys stolen

kenmanius
kenmanius

Infinity Ward heads probably got fed up with Activision during the making of MW2 cuz they let a nerdboy f*ck like Robert Bowling call all the shots. Activision probably said " I can't believe how nerdy this motherf*cker is! He must know what these stupid gamers will give us all their money for. Let's make him boss! (sneers)".

lamprey263
lamprey263

so now used game buyers get premium content new game buyers don't?

coaltango
coaltango

these guys have no shame whatsoever. enough let the used game buyers be happy

BlackForestHam
BlackForestHam

They wana sell more? Is there no end to their greed?

GravyCrazy
GravyCrazy

Wow, I just really hope they don't start charging full price for used games, that wouldn't make any sense because selling them back to the store is a waste of time. Sure, pay $60 for a new game, trade it in a few months later and get $1 back as they sell it again for $50! I also really hope they don't start giving codes out where you can only play online if you have an original copy. Having to pay extra to play a game online just because you purchased it new, ESPECIALLY if you purchased an Xbox live gold membership, is completely ridiculous! If they are also charging extra so Activision can get a "slice of the pie," then gamers all over the world will not be pleased.

bisonfan2010
bisonfan2010

now that's 20 million poor souls who thought MW2 would be as good as 4...I still play 4 but for the newest shooters...i tried both MW2 fails especially compared to World at War, 4, and Battlefield Bad Company 2.

Sloan360
Sloan360

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Izz_Tip-C
Izz_Tip-C

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Sloan360
Sloan360

@ Izz_Tip-C I count 4 because I'm making assumptions that 15 extra days won't matter for sales for that game. I've played 22 days of multi-player for MW2 on my own console, but I played the single player of BC2 on a friends console. I thought I made this clear, but apparently not. And did you even read that article? It says the data may not even be truth, that the data they collected could all just be speculation. To quote your article " so let's not take these as gospel truth". They say the data used was simply an educated guess. Ok so going off what Activision says or what this article says, that even states it may not even be close to true. Here, have that award you gave me.

LtReviews
LtReviews

Only the makers of Call of Duty can lie to the entire gaming community about violating their contracts- and then make it look like they were the victims *claps* It's even more funny how quickly they got jobs at EA after they claimed they weren't even talking with EA concerning future employment in violation of their contracts. They then take other IW employees, by delaying MW3 production, forcing Activision to stretch payments- meaning less compensation for those at IW who chose to stay with activision. And they STILL claim that it was Activision's evil scheme to get rid of their most valuable money making assets.

rebornblood
rebornblood

I enjoy both bfbc2 and mw2 and look forward to the black ops im a first person shooter fan and something new is always interesting. these games i bought were definintly worth my money for the hours ive put on them

Artoisol
Artoisol

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Artoisol
Artoisol

elusivemelody girl is fat as a pig thet i eat

Izz_Tip-C
Izz_Tip-C

@sloan360 March to April= 1 Month April to May= 2 months since release May to June= 3 months since release June till now= 15 days For a grand total of 3 and a half months. Still look like 4 to you? And the award for biggest moron on Gamespot goes to..... Go back to 1st grade my friend. I shake my head at you. Oh and sure... we all believe you played 22 multiplayer days on someone else's console. Here's a link for ya douche. How about we let everyone else decide eh? http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/96054-Did-Modern-Warfare-2-Sell-7-Million-Copies-in-One-Day

kuriousmaxie
kuriousmaxie

activision does suck. but MW2 is amazing. and if you don't realize that then either you haven't given it enough of a chance or you're just in the minority. and no, that does not mean i think BC2 sucks. i give infinity ward all of the credit though. MW2 probably could have been twice as good if activision wasn't so greedy. but hey, you gotta admit they know how to make money.

Sloan360
Sloan360

@ Izz_Tip-C March, April, May, June. That looks like 4 to me. Oh and here is a quote for you. "According to preliminary sales figures from Activision, Modern Warfare 2 sold approximately 4.7 million units in both the United States and the UK in the first 24 hours of its release." Sorry if i'm using the facts provided by Activision. Now my profile doesn't say i've played either of them because i don't update it almost any. I played the Beta of BC2, and it did not impress. I've also played the single player, not from my own console, but from many friends that enjoy it and i wanted to try it. I've played MW2 for almost 22 days, only counting the multiplayer portion, not counting the Spec-Ops and single player. Before you start posting tough and trying to act big against someone who is proving you wrong think about what you're typing. Now why don't you piss off noob.

dogbert784
dogbert784

This game was a serious WIN for Activision.

Izz_Tip-C
Izz_Tip-C

@Sloan360 While I credit you for actually going through all the trouble of finding the facts, you still fail. "while BC2 took over 4 months to amass 5 million in sales", Learn to count kid. BC2 was released March 2, 2010. Open up your calculator app and punch in 6 minus 3(hard I know). And MW2 didn't sell 4.7 Mill on it's first day. It was closer to 7. At least get that part right Noob. Now you still call me biased when I've owned and played MW2 And BC2. Wait a minute..... According to your gamer profile you never even played either MW2 or BC2..... Dude piss off you have no right to even post here. Tw@

SPAS-12
SPAS-12

Great, 20 million copies of laggers, glitchers, commando pro noobs, n00b tubers, campers, and hackers. Yeah, great job, Infinity Ward... But at least they got the first three games they made right.

DEATH775
DEATH775

I really hope that CoD: BO is better than CoD: MW2.

milan4554
milan4554

Activision eyeing $_$ thats all but im not gonna get MW3 if is coming out. bcse its abt the developers Vince Zampella and and Jason West who now moved to EA company...there studio called Respawn entertainment. ill be buying games fr them once they announce New FPS hehehehe i think its gonna be sickk. i think mw1 was better then mw2: most of u knw why!!!

BLaZe462
BLaZe462

kids will buy anything if it's marketed to them...

kweeni
kweeni

that's a pretty big army