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It appears publishers were wise to move key titles from the holiday season, as new data from OTX's Game Plan Insights show that most-desired Halo: ODST and Modern Warfare 2 are forming a "two-headed beast" with a lot of audience overlap.

September 21, 2009

2 Min Read

Author: by Staff

It appears publishers were wise to move key titles from the holiday season -- the average gamer will buy three games over the period, and new data suggests that more than half of Xbox 360-exclusive Halo 3: ODST purchasers will give their second spot to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. So says OTX's GamePlan Insights, which finds Halo 3: ODST continuing to lead U.S. consumer game purchase intent this month, as it has since the beginning of summer. "This widespread consumer interest for a $60 'expansion' is a testament to the staying power of the franchise and the high expectations generated by the folks at Bungie," says GamePlan's Nick Williams. According to GamePlan, Halo 3 trumps many popular, newer releases to remain one of the most-played games on Xbox Live. OTX also cites AERS data that shows it is the top selling title on eBay over the last three months, and still fetches $25 a copy. But the latest GamePlan data shows that Halo devotees are not necessarily single-minded. "The median number of planned game purchases in the next three months is three," says Williams. If one is ODST, what are the other holiday releases that are best positioned to gain the attention with the Halo crowd? "Data collected in the first two weeks of September suggests that more than half of ODST intenders also plan to purchase Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which is indicative of the strong overlap between the two franchises," says Williams. Assassin's Creed 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 hold the next two highest spots on the intent chart for the holiday months, followed by Rockstar's $20 Xbox Live download, Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony. "2010 releases also feature prominently on the affinity list, confirming the need for publishers to move titles out of the busy holiday season," says Williams. "With most gamers planning two or three holiday purchases, it quickly becomes difficult for second and third tier titles to navigate around the two-headed beast that is Halo and Call of Duty." Nearly one in five ODST intenders plan to buy God of War III next year, which Williams calls "emblematic of a growing confluence between the Xbox 360 and PS3 markets." Interestingly, GamePlan also finds these ODST-awaiters are the heaviest game buyers in general, averaging more game purchases in the last year than the regular user (9 versus 6). And retailer GameStop is their biggest beneficiary, with 60 percent having bought a game there.

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