Saturday, November 12, 2011

Can this really be the end?

I'm really just a stegosaurus looking for food.... From this morning's WSJ:

Activision said Friday that within the first 24 hours of the new "Call of Duty" game's release, 6.5 million units were sold for $400 million in North America and the U.K.

"We believe the launch of 'Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3' is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories," Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said.

Late last month, Electronic Arts said five million units of "Battlefield 3" were sold in the first week the game was available.

Doing the math: That's a bit under 5% of the gross US theatrical boxoffice so far this year. One game, one day.


David Chute said...

CofD has a list price of around $60.00.

At today's ticket prices a movie that had this many patrons on it opening weekend would be considered a disappointment.

And how many viewers does the most popular US TV show have, week after week?

I feel we're reversing roles here.

Tulkinghorn said...

Average first day play time is over six hours..... and goes way up after that.

Average length of a season of a 'one hour' television series: 15 hours

Cost of development of CoD: Call it $50,000,000.

Both in terms of audience engagement and profit - first day grosses eight times costs -- games blow away both television and movies.

David Chute said...

A different point, and not as easy to prove -- or disprove.

David Chute said...

In truth, my reaction here is like yours disputing the popularity of porn: it offends us to think that these things are huge, but that isn't evidence.

(BTW: Actual TV rating figures show that the most popular program on US TV, NCIS[!], draws 21 million viewers a week.)

Tulkinghorn said...

I don't dispute the numbers for the porn business because I find them offensive, I dispute them because I found them unbelievable.

There was a time during porn-mania when credulous reporters claimed with a straight face that the porn video business was bigger than the mainstream video business.

Not true, never true, and came from the same place in the brain as claims of vast satanic conspiracies of child murder...

Tulkinghorn said...

The wrinkle on TV ratings is always age... The medium age of a CBS viewer is 61 and getting older.

Literally a dying market.

Christian Lindke said...

The average video game player is 41 and affluent.

GameStop has annual revenues greater than HW box office (domestic). store...more than all of Hollywood BO receipts annually.

Interestingly, this hasn't actually lessened the number of viewers of film/tv in the same magnitude that it generates its own revenue.. Segmentation has lowered TV "ratings," but viewership is still quite high.

As Tulk rightly points out $50 million is 1 million buyers, $ 400 million is 10 million buyers. The vast majority of VG sales happen in the first couple days of a title.

World of Warcraft has 10 million subscribers paying $15 a month...that's a $150million blockbuster a month. One company.

David Chute said...

I find the numbers for video games "unbelievable" because the circles I live and work in hardly anyone ever mentions them, plays, notes releases dates, chats about how much money they make. I'm so far out of that demo I can't even see it as a cloud of dust on the horizon. So my comment was intended as a gracious withdrawal from the argument on grounds of ignorence.

Christian Lindke said...

Xbox live has 20 million subscribers paying an average of $7/month. MS is pulling $140million a month in subscription fees to a service that "allows" you to play online with other players, access your Netflix, and Hulu streaming, and other perks.

It's purely a portal fee. One company.

It should be noted that the $400 million is sales revenue. The developer will see about 50% of that as Gross Revenue. So with Development of $50 mil, advertising at $10mil, the $200mil revenue doesn't seem too far off from what would be expected. Also, play rates will dwindle after first two months pass after Christmas.

The 100k hardcore players will keep logging hours, but the others will move on to the next big game.

There is a reason that VGs have product placement in them.

Gaming is here to stay. It is huge business. It is evolving. It is made up of many of the companies in the Film/TV industry Vivendi, Universal, others.

Film and TV are here to stay. 21 million viewers for NCIS isn't nothing, nor is the 500k or so that new episodes of Avengers brought Disney when it was airing new.