Call of Duty, the massively popular FPS, turns out to be massively popular, with Activision announcing that it has over 40 million active players, logging in every month to play a round or two at least, and over 10 million people registered with CoD Elite, the game’s premium service. A further 2 million of them are annual premium members, which I’m sure makes Bobby Kotick feel justified ordering those giant M&M machines for his office.
The announcement was made on top of better-than-predicted revenue for the company, which, while not as good as last year’s $1.45 billion, was still a respectable $1.17 billion. Once we get to that kind of number it almost seems a little small, to have that one sitting there at the front of a decimal point like a BILLION DOLLARS is no big thing, but I assure you it’s a veritable mound of money. You could probably make a fort out of it.
Bobby Kotick, Activisions CEO, also went on to say that ‘Players have logged more than 1.6 billion hours of online gameplay of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.’, which, taking Activision’s earnings into consideration, means that players are getting more than an hour’s worth of entertainment per dollar. Probably far more than that, when you realise that that $1.2 billion takes into account /all/ of Activisions sales, rather than just Modern Warfare 3. Which is about the point where my maths breaks down and I have a little cry in the corner while writing meaningless numbers on the wall. Anyway.More specifically to CoD, this means that the Elite service is most likely here to stay, not least because it seems the fans consider it something worth their while. With EA looking like they’re going to be bringing in a Premium service of their own, it’s hard not to see this becoming par for the course with the biggest franchises.And, as much as it might grate to be thinking about /another/ chunk of money going out of your bank account each month, it does make a certain sense if you’re the kind to be buying all the DLC and getting neck-deep in the stats so that you can show your friend that, yes, in fact, you are better with a G36 than they are.Now we just have to see what’s going to happen with CoD:BlOps 2, and whether that’s going to share the Elite service across both games, or have its own separate service. That’s when we really see whether this is player-driven or just with an eye on your juicy wallet.