Call of Duty sales aren’t down, says Infinity Ward, they’re just different.

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It’s recently been noted that although Modern Warfare 3’s launch sales pretty much destroyed the records set by the previous Call of Duty, sales of the title have started lagging – and the game might end up falling behind Black Ops in overall sales. Whether that’s the result of the economy being in the toilet, or the general decline in game hardware and software sales ( possibly a symptom of the same thing), or fatigue of the brand is up for debate.

Infinity Ward doesn’t feel that the slowdown in sales is symptomatic of a problem, insisting that Call of Duty sales “aren’t down, they’re just different.”

“What we’re seeing is bigger and bigger spikes earlier on,” Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin, the game’s executive producer, explained to Eurogamer “Sales aren’t less, they’re more, but they’re just front-loaded. People are getting more and more excited about the launch and more aware of when it comes out. Pre-orders are crazy, through the roof. Every time we come out with a game it breaks the record of the previous game.”

“Sales aren’t dwindling at all, they’re just appearing front-loaded towards the launch, rather than spread out as they were in the past,” he enthused. “They aren’t down, they’re just different.”

While that sounds like something a mother might say about her ugly children, he could have a point – Modern Warfare Sold over 6 and half million units on launch – which is pretty damned staggering. Black Ops 2 (which might not happen) has already triple the pre-order numbers of the first Black Ops, and 30% morethan Modern Warfare 3 had.  Sales data, though, suggests that even though it sold like gangbusters at launch, sales have dipped – so only time will tell if Call of Duty still has enough steam.

Questioned on whether there’s more coming in the Modern Warfare universe, Rubin said there’s still a wealth of unexplored ideas.

“What we did was we viewed [Modern Warfare] as an arc. So it’s a trilogy in a sense but it’s an arc with a longer story,” he said. “Whether we do another Modern Warfare [next] or something else undetermined I can’t tell you, but I think the Modern Warfare environment is ripe for more stuff, whether it’s backstory on the stories that we’ve already done or continuations of some of those stories.

“There’s a tonne of ripe storytelling there. I know a lot of people have pointed to things like their favourite characters like Ghost and Soap, and getting background on those guys, so there are definite areas for us to explore in that field.”

The story-telling? Oh, is that where Call of Duty’s innovation is? I kept looking for it in gameplay…silly me.

Last Updated: May 10, 2012

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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