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Nielsen: Heavy Marketing, Quality Expectations Drive Modern Warfare 2 Buzz

Online pre-release buzz for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which releases this week, has far outstripped that of its successful 2007 predecessor, says Nielsen -- doubling it in some cases.

Chris Remo, Blogger

November 10, 2009

1 Min Read

Online pre-release buzz for Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which releases this week, has far outstripped that of its successful 2007 predecessor, says tracking firm Nielsen, which says gamers expect an unusually high level of quality out of the game and have been exposed to significant amounts of advertising. According to Nielsen's latest regular gamer survey, significantly more gamers were aware of Modern Warfare 2's release than of other games, and of that group, 46 percent had seen the game advertised on television -- pointing to a considerable marketing effort by publisher Activision. Word of mouth and other third-party promotion has also benefited awareness: 30 percent of those gamers heard about the game from others, and 28 percent had seen online coverage. That, and the memory of the first game, is likely driving relative quality expectations as well. Asked how they expected the game to score, gamers reported an average of 7.7 out of 10 -- seemingly unimpressive until compared to the 6.8 average score expected of other games by the sample size of over 1,200. In addition to the demonstrated massive sales success of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which has sold well over 13 million units, the Modern Warfare brand is associated with long-term player investment and loyalty, making it even more valuable. Looking at multiplayer data on the PC platform, Modern Warfare has seen an overall increase in multiplayer activity over the last year, rather than tapering. And those who bought the game on any platform are more likely to come from high-earning households who spend more money than most on video games -- Modern Warfare buyers have spent nearly three times as much annually on games than average game purchasers.

About the Author(s)

Chris Remo

Blogger

Chris Remo is Gamasutra's Editor at Large. He was a founding editor of gaming culture site Idle Thumbs, and prior to joining the Gamasutra team he served as Editor in Chief of hardcore-oriented consumer gaming site Shacknews.

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