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RANT: Modern Warfare 2 Predictions Part 2

So we're almost there. MW2 is but a couple weeks away, so let the speculation begin!
I am extremely excited for this game so I will try and not let my bias muddy up the waters of my argument that Modern Warfare 2 will outsell GTA4. Abortion brings up some very good points as to why MW2 won't outsell the competition.

The Christmas factor is a large one I believe. What with the economy, many people are looking to save some cash and MW2 would make a great Christmas gift as opposed to a random November purchase. MW2 is also coming out in a time of year that has more big games being released, so there is more competition.

My counter to that is that this game has single handedly scared the competition out of 2009 release dates. Big games like Bioshock 2, Splinter Cell, MAG- these games are just scared to come out in holiday 2009, and for good reason. Also 360 owners haven't really had a big holiday blockbuster yet. ODST came out on the tail end of summer and there hasn't really been anything to satiate the COD crowd since 2007's COD4. PS3 owners have had more games to play lately with big releases like Uncharted 2, Demons Souls, and Ratchet and Clank, but no real big budget FPS since Killzone 2 at the beginning of the year. So there is definitely a market ready to devour up Infinity Wards latest.

I do agree that GTA4 has a much broader appeal, and that the marketing was handled amazingly. I, who dislike the GTA games actually bought GTA4 based on hype alone (granted not first day though). I think this is an area where MW2 will suffer. MW2 is a game that by nature is much more for the hardcore. The fact that the online is such a huge part of the game is proof alone that this is a much different audience than what GTA4 is targeted to. The MW2 hype machine is not yet in full gear, despite some amazing trailers shown for very targeted audiences. I feel like the general consensus for the game right now is that anyone who's played COD4 is buying Modern Warfare 2 no questions asked. However, it's up to some slick marketing and word of mouth to get the less knowledgeable on board.

So here's what it all comes down to. Are the hardcore fans who have played COD4 (which has sold over 13 million) all coming back for more? If only 50% of that number loved the game then, yes, I think we will see it outsell GTA4 in its first week. I have personally never talked to anyone who played through COD4 and would not play a sequel to it. Granted there are people who just don't like semi-realistic, war-based, FPS. But then they didn't buy COD4.

Another factor in this war of giants is the install base of the 360 and PS3. According to VGChartz.com, the combined totals of 360s and PS3s for the launch of GTA4 was around 29 million. For the MW2 release we will be seeing a consumer base of around 58 million. That is roughly double what it was for GTA. More consoles in the hands of gamers means more people buying games. And again if you know games you know MW2 and if you don't you're going to be hearing a lot about it.

The fact that the PC release of MW2 slipped is actually going against me, since I made my prediction prior to this knowledge. I know a lot of purists will wait for the PC version, which will in turn hinder week one sales. I still think MW2 will put up a damn good fight though, and potentially edge out GTA4.

All we need now are some super inflated review scores prior to release (10s all around IGN!),
a blitz of media coverage, and for China to make MW2 required material for all its' citizens, and we can topple the overinflated hype bag that was GTA4's stupid high first week sales numbers.

I know the crickets are on Abortions side, so I'll rally the support of my followers, the Dusty Tumbleweeds. Give em hell Tumbleweeds!
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