Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?s [MW2] release was the biggest launch in video game history – Activision Blizzard confirms that $550 million in sales were reached in the first five days alone. The Call of Duty video game franchise, including Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, has grossed more than $3 billion in retail sales globally according to the sales tracking data of the NPD Group, GFK Chart Track and Activision?s own estimate. Infinity Ward?s widely publicized controversial decisions regarding MW2?s multiplayer component – in fact, rival developer DICE and others seized Infinity Ward?s public relations SNAFU to declare their support of gamers and dedicated servers – has not been the damper on sales some industry analysts expected.
Call of Duty: MW2, remains at the top spot in the charts for its second consecutive week despite an 86% drop in sales the second week since release MW2?s release on November 10, 2009. Our own review takes a look at what MW2 brings to the table for the franchise. Possibly one of the best things MW2 has going for it as noted in our review, is that mega-hardware such as ATi?s hard-to-get 5970 or nVidia?s as-yet-unreleased NV100-based video cards are not needed to fully enjoy the visual splendor of MW2.
As may clearly be seen, the video game industry became a powerhouse in terms of economic force comparable to motion picture industry or even surpassing Hollywood. Executives in the entertainment industry and beyond would do well to take heed of the continuation of the increasing shift from static content to a user-based experience based on interactivity. Forward looking analysts have noted and tracked this trend for some time but now might be the last chance to get onboard and reap the benefits [read: cashing in] or get left behind as we shift to an increasingly Google, Facebook and Twitter driven world.
To better understand what makes a great video game we spoke with Laura Pieroni, video game/digital artist and graduate student in the Master?s program at Carnegie Mellon University?s Entertainment and Technology Center. Laura praises MW2 as, "Very, solid with great attention to detail. They [Infinity Ward] absolutely nailed it for the towns." Laura continues, "It seems they couldn?t quite decide on the aesthetic. It looks like they borrowed a little bit from James Bond aka 007, Left 4 Dead and Halo games. There is a minor lack of cohesion overall as well." However, when asked how she felt about MW2 overall she beams, "MW2 has amazing interactivity and that?s probably its greatest strength. Overall, the game just works?it?s a very enjoyable gaming experience."
In "Times They Are A-Changin" Bob Dylan famously sang in another era of sweeping changes and political uncertainty and indeed they are today for the entertainment industry and the world in general. Video games have proven they have staying power and will perhaps eclipse the movies in terms of revenues consistently in years to come.