Call Of Duty Might Finally Be Running Out Of Puff

Call Of Duty Might Finally Be Running Out Of Puff

For years now, through thick and thin, one thing has remained constant in this business: every holiday season, a new Call of Duty game arrives and outsells the last one.

Except for this year, that is, because it looks like 2011’s Modern Wafare 3 will, at the rate things are going, sell less copies than 2010’s Black Ops.

Analysts at Macquarie Equities, presumably having seen internal sales figures since they’re dealing with percentage points, say that as it stands MW3 is trailing sales of Black Ops by “around 4.2 percent”, Gamasutra reports.

It’s hardly a dramatic slide, and it’s also a relative thing since MW3 still sold millions, but it’s a slide nonetheless. If the same happens next year with the release of what we assume will be Black Ops 2, it might be time for Activision to start thinking a little bit harder about how they mix things up with these games.

Call of Duty sales slow down as casual buyers find entertainment elsewhere [Gamasutra]


    • I see what you’re saying, but the fact is it was selling extremely well still. But if the sales of MW3 are anything to go by those sales are at least plateauing.

    • Depends what you mean by puff. If by puff you mean innovative concepts and revolutionary mechanics, yes, it ran out of puff a while back. This article is using puff as a synonym for sales impact, and, even as someone who doesn’t play online shooters, one can’t deny the incredible amount of sales of each iteration.

      • What…..innovative concepts….and revolutionary mechanics exactly…. I’m perplexed.

        When they’re initially created, say around COD2 or COD4? Sure. But when they’re regurgitated for the fifth time by MW3, sorry but no…

        • You didn’t even read his post beyond the first half of the first sentence.
          He says exactly what you just did, ie. why are you are perplexed at having the same opinion?

        • Ironically, such ignorance brought about by lack of reading comprehension would traditionally (as per rules of the internet) be attributed to an eroding of one’s attention span brought about by too much CoD… but weresmurf’s fail of a reply is just… unexplainable.

          • Two weeks of bashing through assignments has shortened my attention span to not being able to finish what I….

  • Finally. I hope something else takes the market by storm soon. Whether you love the game or hate it, it’s had its golden age and that golden age has stretched on far too long.

      • What bothers me is that Bungie just got a publishing deal with Activision after being milked for Halo games for ten years. I hope Activision doesn’t squeeze their new IP dry like they’re doing to COD.

        • Prepare yourself to be disappointed then. Activision’s CEO has he stated that focusing on franchises that “have the potential to be exploited every year on every platform with clear sequel potential and have the potential to become $100 million franchises” cleary by gamers for gamers.

          • Bungie used their position as the creators of Halo to barter for a pretty good publishing deal with Activision. Bungie gets to set release dates, pricing and frequency of DLC and has complete creative control of all their future IP’s none of which will be owned by Activision. After Bungie’s abuse from Microsoft they wouldn’t settle for anything less.

  • When you have larger and larger pre-orders and launch weekends the player base is exhausted quicker. This in turn leads to less sustainable sales in the long term, any sales person knows this.

  • While it still sells in the millions I reckon they’ll keep churning them out. Why shoot the golden goose? Or, like, slit it’s throat, or mow it down in an airport, or …
    I wholeheartedly believe they should put it on hiatus for a bit, or add phasers and whatnot.
    CoD: Space Wars.

  • The first comment in this thread is exactly what I expected – though it lost points for not mentioning BF3 as the style guide recommends.

    Nobody is forced to buy COD games – the people who do are obviously doing it because they like them. Is it really that hard to fathom?

    • Burying your head in the sand and saying “don’t like it, don’t play it” doesn’t really work when you consider just how much the game has shaped the market. Every FPS released nowadays completely clones CoD’s gameplay features, they all look and feel the same now. There’s barely any ingenuity or originality in FPSes anymore, easily visible with games like Far Cry 3.

      The main problem isn’t with the game itself (although I despise the game itself to a great amount, excepting CoD4 of course), it’s more the community, and what it’s done to the industry itself.

      • “Every FPS released nowadays completely clones CoD’s gameplay features, they all look and feel the same now.” Now now. One could argue CoD’s gameplay features were stolen from well established mods like Counter-Strike’s GunGame. Infact there’s nothing in CoD that hasn’t already been done before. Please tell us what new and innovative gameplay it brought to the FPS genre?

        Battlefield on the other hand… oh yeah I went there.

        • He’s not saying they were original or innovative, and they weren’t, he’s saying that CoD used them to such great effect that now they are just about the ONLY kind of multiplayer in the FPS industry. By being so successful with such a simple multiplayer formula, they crushed and still are crushing innovation.

        • Yes, that wasn’t my point. I don’t care about this whole “whaaa x game copied my favourite game”, I’m saying that every bloody FPS game on the market models itself after CoD and it hampers originality and progress.

    • I agree. Yes the CoD franchise is popcorn movie quality in a lot of ways. But the fact remains that the franchase has sold a bucketload, and made Activision heaps of money.

      Think of this: the iPhone has a lot of issues, and for a lot of people, isn’t the best product for them. But it is still a massively popular device. Bad-mouthing it just because of individual preferences ignores a large and glaring fact that the iPhone provides something valuable to a very large number of people that they are willing to pay for. And being able to see a need and fill it to make a lot of money is just good business.

      I find comments about CoD players being inadequate teenagers add nothing to the discussion of the value of video games. I would much prefer to see criticism about the game itself rather than the players who play them.

  • Just my 2 cents, “I enjoy a game more when I dont get absolutely annihilated.” My skills are not great at FPS, I’m a casul gamer, they are not going to improve, I play maybe once a week. Hence I prefer BO over CODMW because I can play against the robots and adjust the level of competiton I am against. Occasionally I win, I enjoy that, so even though I bought CODMW# I still play BO.

    • Maybe Tom is right here. Us semi-skilled COD players usually don’t stand a chance, and only occasionally stumble upon a room where everyone is equally good at the game. It’s one of the things I am missing from the COD franchise: The ability to actually search for servers catered for the casual gamers.

      I am actually a fan of all the COD games, used to play MW2 and Black ops in TDM to death,
      but Mw3? I just struggle to pick it up these days because I know more than 60% of the time teams
      are not matched up fairly. I always get put on the losing team for some reason. (eg the team that run around like headless chooks, when you are trying your best to win)

  • CoD isn’t a bad game. It’s a really good kids game. My younger brother and all his friends play it heaps. But I’m fed up with it dominating the market.

    • I’ve said it before, the only CoD game that can get people excited would be a Star Wars CoD. A, “Call of the Empire” if you will.

  • Another piece of shit article designed to start a flame war that generates hits and revenue. This guy is beyond a joke.

    • Agree. Slow news day, so make up some bullshit story that means nothing.
      Hey Kotaku, isn’t it time for another ‘History of Mario Bros’ or ‘Why I hate Zelda’ articles?

    • Not really. For the first time since Modern Warfare, a CoD game might end up selling less than the one before it. It doesn’t have to be about “ew, CoD is shit”

      • But as usual Plunkett goes for sensationalism rather than a measured journalistic approach looking at what factors may have caused this. GFC2? People against Elite? No, as usual it’s left to the commenters to do his job, he just takes a random figure and uses it out of context and as basis for a half arsed, half baked theory that COD is doomed.

        This guy’s approach of reading someone else’s work, cutting and pasting, and then making up shit needs to be reined in.

  • I would be more interested in marketshare figures before actual sales, if their marketshare hasn’t declined then there isn’t much to these figures and there isn’t enough to suggest that COD has “peaked” saleswise.

    Overall worldwide software sales are massively down on the previous year, so it wouldn’t just be effecting COD.

    • Indeed. Overall sales are way down yet CoD continues. This means customers are picking up less games but still picking up CoD. Also with 10M a year sales not to mention the DLC trail you could half those numbers and still be very happy. Well I would be I don’t know about activision 😉

  • You know, when you think about it, that final image there for Black Ops (which is considered the best ending of all time…) is one of the scariest images in videogaming.

    • That was the worst part of any ending i’ve seen in my life (so far), the fact is it accurately depicts what America are trying to sell to everyonen else, that they are the police of the world, which is what i hate so much. Add this to a franchise that sells extremely well, there will be a generation of kids that grow up with the idea “AMERICUR… FUCK YEAH’.

      Add this to the amount of US military exposure in any Hasbro film (Transformers, G.I. heck even Battleship) and what we have here is potentially one of the most influential recruitment drives ever seen.

      In short, i am really sick of the modern america world police in games everywhere, and i’d much settle for a WW2 FPS or a modern shooter that doesn’t depict the US as the only force in the world or goes around saving everyones ass. It’s a shame as well we won;t be seeing any games with the focus on the vietnam war, darker jungle environments and more darker themes would have been a nice change.

  • We all knew Call Of Duty would destroy it’s self, copy and paste only get’s you so far before the little teen’s relealise the regurgitated garbage is not worth their Christmas money.
    Halo 4 is bound to be the biggest Halo yet and a massive hit with pre-order’s rising rapidly and it does not have a offical release date, Assassins Creed 3 is sure to be a big holiday hit aswell. Also, if Grand Theft Auto 5 does release this year around the same time as Black ops 2 that will surely add the last nail in the coffin, GTA is known for nothing but record breaking sales. R.I.P COD you did good at keeping the 11 year old’s of our online Multiplayer.

    • I’ll buy AC3 on release day. After the last two COD releases I’ll be waiting a few weeks until the major problems have been patched.

  • I like Activision and many of their games but I think Activision need more franchises to remain competitive. Their current strategy of banking on big bets is not sustainable in the long term. Skylanders, WoW and COD will lose steam over time.

    EA are just as bad with their constant FPS releases but at least the releases are masked by their names. in 2010 we had medal of honour, 2011 is battlefield 3, this year is medal of honour again. Not having the same name every year helps to some extent I think.

    Also what’s with the Respawn game that EA are publishing? We haven’t heard of anything about it.

  • i did not buy MW3, i just rented it to see what happened to soap. I was going to buy it but it felt wrong paying $99 or whatever for the game. If the price was $50 or $60 I would have brought it, its not like they had to spend money designing a new engine or new models or anything much. Just pay a writer to come up with a story with explosions in it and just cut N paste stuff from the first two MWs and MW3 was born.

    • “Just pay a writer to come up with a story with explosions in it and just cut N paste stuff from the first two MWs and MW3 was born.”

      Yeah, that’s EXACTLY how games are made. That’s what the hundreds of Activision COD staff are doing. Just copying and pasting ‘stuff’ from previous games.

  • Who would have thought that continually releasing sequels one after the other would result in people getting sick of the game?

    • Other way around. If it’s older than half a decade then CoD “borrowed” from it, and if you’ve only played FPSs from the last 5 years then you’re missing out.

  • Here’s what I want: COD Dinosaurs! Instead of zombies, have teams take on sworms of different dinosaurs! Teamwork is required to take down the bigger beasts, like the T-Rex. Kinda like Monster Hunter.
    Call me crazy but I’vw always thought COD’s fast gunplay would be perfect for a dino blast-a-thon!

  • The word “innovation” gets thrown around here a lot and I’m not entirely sure everyone has the same definition in mind.

  • I find it amusing that stores are pre-ordering the new COD when it doesn’t have a title or release date. There’s no point pretending there won’t be a November release so they might as well do preorders.

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