Activision: Call Of Duty Gamers 'More Engaged' Than Facebook Gamers

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said his company's cautious approach toward the social space is warranted, and that Call of Duty gamers are "more engaged" than those who play the top Facebook titles.
Activision's Call of Duty franchise sees more players who are willing to pay-to-play online than any other Facebook game, while CoD players are "more engaged" than those who play the top Facebook titles, the publisher said Tuesday. As part of the 13th Annual Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained the company's upcoming Call of Duty products are set to receive far more interest than the top Facebook games. Hirshberg's comments come as Activision has been hesitant to dive headfirst into the Facebook gaming market, instead focusing on triple-A console game development, downloadable content and upcoming non-Facebook online businesses like the subscription-based Call of Duty Elite and kid-friendly toy tie-in game Skylanders. "Call of Duty has more players who pay-to-play online than any Facebook game," Hirshberg explained, "and our players pay more per player on average than any Facebook game." He continued, "They're also more engaged - the percentage of Call of Duty's monthly unique players that play the game every day is higher than that of the top three Facebook games." The executive defended Activision's cautious approach to social and mobile gaming during a recent earnings call. Although companies like leading competitor Electronic Arts are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into social gaming, Hirshberg said, "We feel [Activision's] strategy continues to be very well aligned with the market opportunity." Hirshberg today also suggested that gamers in general are not being less active, but instead focusing their gaming on particular franchises. "Despite all the hand-wringing in our industry right now, people aren't gaming less," he said. "In fact, they're gaming more than ever. They're just doing it with fewer games, and they're spending more time playing those games than ever before." "Last year, of the top 10 best-selling games, all 10 of them were based on strong existing franchises, and nine of those 10 were online enabled," he noted.

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