In US alone ten million copies of Modern Warfare 2 has been sold, though there was too much of trash talk and controversy. It seems that the developers is running off to join Respawn. Activision are in the hope of doing the same with Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Cowen and Company does some prediction for the Black Ops. The game is going to be released by November and it has even started charting in some territories due to the pre-orders.
Well, the main question here is that can Black Ops sale be as fast as Modern Warfare 2, which has hit 4.7 million sales in just 24 hours after its release last year on November 10. Within four months the sales of its had hit ten million milestone.
Activision still is cashing its effort of Modern Warfare 2. The company reported recently that its profit doubled in first quarter and revenue shot up by 33 percent.
Robert Kotick, Chief Executive Officer, said in an interview: “The results definitely speak for themselves… Our key franchises are performing.”
The publisher posted a profit of $381 million in the quarter ended March 31.
Modern Warfare 2 generated about a sales of $1.3 billion across the world. It became the best selling of the publisher of all time.
The Stimulus Package, add-on of MW2, sold 1 million copies on one day, March 30, when it was released for download on Xbox Live. At $15 it generated $10.5 million in a single day.
Analyst Colin Sebastian said, “Activision’s game franchises are pretty healthy in spite of what’s happening with Infinity Ward… The impression was that things were falling off track, but for now Call of Duty remains strong.” Sebastian is an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets.
In a recent management turmoil the publisher lost around three dozens key talent at Infinity Ward studio. In March the company fired two top executives who in return sued the publisher for allegedly withholding royalties from MW2′s sale. Following this other talents who made MW2 started resigning.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, acknowledged during the quarterly earnings call of the company that since top two executives were dismissed, Infinity Ward has seen 35 employees quitting their job.
He says the resigning of so many executives have “obviously disappointed” the publisher. He also said that he expects more will be leaving the troubled studio.
Well, Kotick still stands with the decision of Activision to remove the two executives in March, Jason West and Vince Zampella. He said, “We felt that we had no choice.”
He said further that the studio “remains an important part” of its future plans for the CoD franchise and will also continue to support the remaining employees of the company.
West and Zampella, after their dismissal, sued the publisher. They claimed that they were owed royalty payments in MW2 sales.
Activision counter-suit the two for breach of contract. It claimed that both the executives secretly flew to Northern California for meeting the closest competitor of Activision. However, Acitivision did not mentioned the name of the competitor. Well, the largest publisher in the region is Electronic Arts.
Modern Warfare 2
Keith Arem, who worked in the trenches on CoD games, will be directing a film named Frost Road, his first feature film.
He served in Activision as the talent director of games like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2 and few other.
His forthcoming film Frost Road is a survival horror and is set in a small East Coast town.
He says, “Our main character is immune to what is happening while something is affecting the townspeople. They are essentially ripping themselves apart… It becomes a sort of a zombie film in reverse. Instead of this constant threat of being attacked by all these plagued victims, this becomes a story of survival and keeping these people alive.”
Arem has earlier also worked with video games such as Darksiders, Bioshock, Singularity, Guitar Hero 4 & 5, Army of two, Splinter Cell 4, Golden Axe and many more.
He started his career in video games in 1992. Before it he was a musician and specialized in electronic rock music. He had performed in Biohazard PCB and Contagion. He also use to sing and compose music. He developed his skills as an audio engineer.
After most of the high profile executives left Activision, the company said in a legal document that Mr West and Mr Zampella had “morphed from valued, responsible executives into insubordinate and self-serving schemers”. However, both of them have described the claims as “false and outrageous”.
According to analysts, the other 9 employees that left Infinity Ward last week apparently disgruntled at the treatment of the creators. Before these employees left the company, the game was believed to have the strength of about 90 executives.
The global first-day sales of Modern Warfare 2 crossed $500 million (£323 million). Modern Warfare 2 puts players in the position of special forces across the Middle East and former Soviet states in fictional way.
Industry analyst Evan Wilson said: “Investors are starting to think that Activision really ticked off the whole studio.”
Recently two of the former studio heads were fired for insubordination apart from also trying to poach Activision’s key employees according to the allegations filed in court by the gaming giant.
On Thursday Activision countersued former Jason West and Vince Zampella, Infinity Ward executives, who had earlier sued the company for over $36 million. According to West and Zampella’s lawsuit, the former studio heads were fired and hence they should not be getting hefty royalties for their work on the franchise of “Call of Duty”.
The filing done by Activision in fact seeks of showing that the firing of those were justified and the company also claims that the men met with a key gaming rival and this is violations of employment contract.
According to breach of contract, the two former studio heads, West and Zampella, held up further developments on other CoD games in the series in order to gain more money. Activison is also seeking for withholding their additional payments.
However, Robert M. Schwartz, the attorney of West and Zampella, had called the countersuit’s claims as “false and outrageous.”
In a statement Schwartz said, “None of the false claims of insubordination or breach of duties had any negative affect on Activision — none… Modern Warfare 2 has been the world’s most successful video game.”
Robert Bowling, the community manager of Infinity Ward, maintained optimistic tone while addressing the morale at the studio of MW2 after the dismissal of its two top executives and also a subsequent lawsuit against Activision.
Bowling said in an interview that it’s “business as usual” at the studio as the company prepares to release first batch of downloadable content for the game.
On the website Bowling said, “Right now morale is high, because we’re really excited to get this DLC out. Any time we’re just about to launch something out to the community, morale boosts up, because you’re excited to see what your players think of it, and to watch them get on there and see what tactics they come up with.”
The two top executives who were expelled were former Infinity Ward execs Jason West and Vince Zampella. The two sued Activision for breach of contract and are now seeking $36 million along with the rights to all Modern Warfare branded titles.
However, Activision calls this lawsuit as “meritless.”
The upcoming DLC is called Stimulus Package and Bowling defended its price tag to be $15.
He said, “I think from a content standpoint, anyone who is playing Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer and is dedicating a lot of hours to it is definitely going to get their money’s worth from this map pack.”
The DLC features 5 multiplayer maps that includes the two from 2007′s Call of Duty 4. By next week it will be available on Xbox 360.
Next week the downloadable Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Pack will hit the Xbox 360 and it will bring with it 5 new maps.
Recently the founders of Activision owned Infinity Ward were fired. The allegations was there that royalties were being withheld by the publisher and the two of them were insubordinate to their parent company.
Well, the internal upheaval and also the lawsuits have not managed to impact the team.
Robert Bowling said, “Not at all, our main focus as a team here at Infinity Ward is this pack. We want to focus on making the games we love.”
On the other side the Stimulus Pack has brought a bit of its own controversy. Many claims that the price is too steep of it for what is being delivered in actual.
It costs $15 and it will hit the market on March 30. For the PS3 it will be available in the market by April 30.
Three new maps are included in the pack, “Bailout,” a multi-level apartment complex; “Storm,” an open industrial park littered with heavy machinery; “Salvage,” a snowy junkyard fortified by stacked debris and crushed cars.
Modern Warfare 2 became the second best selling game in the UK chart. It has beaten the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas of Rockstar.
ELSPA gfk Chart-Track says that MW2 is just behind Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training game of Nintendo on Nintendo DS. Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training has been ranked as the most popular game of all time in UK.
Released just last year in November this sixth series of Call Of Duty got a huge success across the world.
According to Activision, 14 million copies have been sold of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 worldwide and it brought the company a revenue of almost £665m.
On March 30 the company is releasing the first downloadable content of the game in multiplayer aspect. It is named as the Stimulus Pack. This pack will enable 5 new maps for players and it will cost £10.20 (1200 Microsoft Points). The PC and PS3 gamers need to wait for the pack. It will be released later.
The second expansion of the game has also been confirmed by Activision for 2010.
Modern Warfare 2
When the two top executives of Activision, who were responsible for the success of Modern Warfare 2 that helped in generating $1 Billion, were expelled by the Company last Monday, everybody was expecting a lawsuit. As predicted, the suit came on Wednesday, and it could have repercussion for publisher and contestants.
Jason West and Vince Zampella are in a process of suing Activision for unfair decision and looking for $36 Million.
They also declare that, no such game with name of Modern Warfare cab be published without their written permission.
In reply, Activision has called the suit meritless and consider itself right in dismissing West and Zampella due to their misconduct and behavior and announced that it will keep on releasing thrilling and inventive game.
But if West and Zampella proved themselves right, they are going to put Activision’s most precious franchise in danger.
Call of Duty holds over $3 Billion sale till date and Modern warfare has been pronounced the top selling game of 2009.
Even Activision keeps hold of game, there is always a danger that the development team of infinity ward might join West and Zampella in new project.
The matter will be settled amongst the Company executives they will be beneficial in terms of money for West and Zarnpella