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Analysts predict the game will sell 5 million copies the first day

The global economy may still be poor, but some categories are doing well despite the economic downturn. One of those categories is video games. One of the most anticipated video game launches of all times is set to happen this week with a new game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The game is set to hit stores Tuesday and analysts are predicting massive sales for the game. Activision has a lot riding on the launch according to Reuters. Some analysts expect the game to count for as much as 16 cents of Activision's earnings per share for the December quarter.

MKM Partners analyst Eric Handler said, "This is the one game that could buck the economic trend for the holiday season."

The game will sell for about $60 per copy and Activision is partnering with 12 retailers including GameStop and Best Buy to hold over 10,000 midnight launch events across the country. Estimates peg sales for the game at 11 to 13 million units by the end of 2009. Activision CEO Robert Kotick expects the game to be one of the biggest media launches of any kind of all time.

Handler expects that the game will sell about 5 million units on the first day of sales and a total of 7 to 8 million games the first week. Those sales numbers would put the game ahead of last year's top title, Grand Theft Auto IV. The game will carry an M rating for violence and blood. Some of the most popular aspects of the Call of Duty franchise centers around the multiplayer aspects of the game, which the new version is sure to have.

GameStop executive VP Tony Bartel said, "By all indicators, we anticipate 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2' will be the biggest entertainment launch of 2009, as well as the biggest video game launch in GameStop's history."

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By LordanSS on 11/9/2009 9:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Well, MW2 for the PC, priced at 60 USDs... for someone like me, who does not play on multiplayer, that's way too overpriced for a (very) short campaign game. They're really riding on the "brand name", for pricing it that high. Don't know of any PC game released lately, even AAA titles, that'd cost that much.

MW1 was really great, but this time, I'll pass. Got myself Dragon Age instead, and doubt I'll regret doing so.

By abhaxus on 11/10/2009 5:07:15 AM , Rating: 2
There's a great article in PC Gamer about the need for PC games to be priced at 60 like console games. It makes very valid points. Adjusted for inflation we are paying dramatically less for PC games now than we did 10-15 years ago. If games were priced at $60, that would mean the actual profit margin possible on PC games would be significantly higher than consoles, and would make developing for them that much more compelling. The extra development time would be outweighed by the huge increase in profit.

actual cost of replication/packaging/distribution (really rough estimate, nothing to back this up): $10
cost of license for PS3 or 360: $15 (taken from various sources)
retailer cost: 48-52
msrp: 60

so a retailer makes about 15% profit on a new game. a publisher/developer might split $25 off a new game for consoles. For PCs, they would split $40. That would make PC development much more palatable. Right now they make slightly more on PC titles than console. In a world where all games are $60 (and still less than we paid in 1995 adjusted for inflation), they would make 60% more. Windows 7's popularity will bring more gamers up to DX10 and 11 standards so development will be easier as well.

I just don't understand why they use steam for DRM, but don't allow dedicated servers. Stupid.

By Strunf on 11/10/2009 8:16:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not everything needs to be adjusted to inflation, if you adjust the price of a PC from 40 years ago to today value it would cost the price of a supercomputer (or not far from it) etc... as time goes by things will tend to cost the price of the raw materials used to make them, this is valid on all products for mass consumption, on IT is not really the case cause for some reason people seem ok with paying way more for something than it costs to make, Vivendi (the owners of activision) is making billions of profit... some expect MW2 will sell over 10 million copies this year, how much you think is profit?

Games are overpriced be it on consoles or PC, but if people are ready to shell out $60 for a game stupid would be them if they sell it for less than that.

By abhaxus on 11/10/2009 1:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
If anything, as the cost of developing an A list game has risen, so should the cost to the end user, inflation or not. Developing a game of the year caliber game now is dramatically more expensive than in past years. Or do you really think it cost IW the same to develop Modern Warfare 2 as it did Microprose to develop X-Com?

Maybe it's just because I'm older, but I didn't flinch at buying MW2 last night for 60. I have never been a new-game-every-2-weeks kinda guy anyway, but an extra 10 bucks didn't seem like that big a deal. Maybe if I was still a teenager it would be a problem. Now, I'd say it's 2 less trips to starbucks, but it's not really that either :)

By LordanSS on 11/10/2009 3:49:25 PM , Rating: 2
You are right in one thing: the cost of producing/developing games has increased a lot, compared to what it was in the past.

There is a catch though: there are much more customers now than there were in the older days as well. The number of people/homes with computers worldwide has increased drastically, and so have computer game sales. The issue is, if a game sold like a million units in the days of old, it'd be considered an amazing, flabergasting, wtfpwnbbqkthx success. Nowadays, if it doesn't sell much more than that, big publishers think it wasn't worth the trouble.

PS: And as far as I know, game prices (and monthly subscriptions) have gone up quite a bit compared to what they used to be, so I take it they already added the "inflation".

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