NOV. 17, 2011 • University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong explained his team’s home loss to Pittsburgh the previous weekend on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: “All of a sudden there’s something new and they want to try it and it just engulfs them.” According to Microsoft, more than 7 million multiplayer hours were logged playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 by the end of launch day, November 8, a 19% increase over last year’s 5.9 million multiplayer hours logged playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on launch day. Activision Blizzard announced that the title generated $775 million in sales during its first five days in release, and more than one million premium memberships of Call of Duty Elite have been sold.
Impact: Lame excuses aside, it is clear that the Call of Duty franchise has become an annual sport along the lines of a Madden football. Furthermore the audience for it is growing every year. Being a mature product this is the type of franchise that kids grow into but adult users don’t grow out of. So every year a new group of consumers comes of age to play Call of Duty. In addition, Activision now has the Elite membership that allows them to generate a new source of revenue for all those consumers willing to pay an extra $50 a year. For a game that provides as much usage as Call of Duty $50 a year is a bargain and we expect Elite to be a big success.