COD: Ghosts To Be Supported by ‘Largest Marketing Plan in Brand’s History,’ Call of Duty No. 2 Brand in NA + EU

Activision has announced the Call of Duty franchise as the number two best selling franchise in North America and Europe combined during Q1 of FY ’13, coming in only second to Activision’s Skylanders brand.

Similarly, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was the second best selling game in NA and EU combined during the same quarter.

Looking forward towards the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts this Fall, developed by Infinity Ward, creators of the Modern Warfare series, Chief Executive Officer, President and Director Robert Kotick said during a recent earnings call that the “next Call of Duty game will face a more competitive environment than last year.” He added, “the competitive landscape will likely require us to further increase our sales and marketing investments for our 3 largest franchises, especially in the important holiday season.”

While we have concerns and face uncertainties, we believe our product pipeline for this year and the future is strong, our strategy is sound and our talent is second to none.”

Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin mentioned, “looking to the back half the year, we plan to continue building Call of Duty momentum with the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts on November 5 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Ghosts will also be available on next gen platforms and will be supported by one of the largest sales and marketing plans in the brand’s history.”

He also touched on a few of Black Ops 2’s other successes, including increased sales over 2011’s Modern Warfare 3 and the well-received, newly introduced microtransaction digital model.

“In Q1 at retail, Black Ops II sales were higher than Modern Warfare 3 sales in the prior year and online multi-player engagement set new records,” he said. “Q1 monthly active users for Black Ops II were up versus Modern Warfare 3 during the same period last year and total monthly active users for the franchise achieved a new Q1 high.”

“In addition to selling map packs, this quarter we introduced an all-new digital model selling micro DLC that lets players personalize, customize and expand their Call of Duty experience. Although still a small contributor to the franchise overall, we’re pleased with our results and most importantly, we’ve struck the right balance between providing items which have real value to our fans, but in no way compromise the core game play experience.”

Along with an aggressive marketing campaign, you can most likely expect the very same microtransaction digital model to sneak its way into Call of Duty: Ghosts next Fall.

Call of Duty: Ghosts, built on a brand new next-generation engine, releases on the PC, Xbox 360, next Xbox, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 this November 5. Look forward to an official gameplay reveal during Microsoft’s Xbox conference on May 21.

  • MegaMan3k

    They need all that marketing to convince people to buy the game on current gen and next gen.

    • Dirtknap

      Agreed, I don’t think a more aggressive marketing campaign has anything to do with the “competitive landscape”, Activision are essentially marketing against their past transgressions rather than competitors.

      • MrLadyfingers

        Good. They better prove themselves. I don’t want to hear “this is the closest Call of Duty to Cod4 to date” again this year, I want to be blown away. No smoke in mirrors marketing.

    • pot51e

      Agreed. If marketing didn’t shift product, they would do it. Truth is, Activision are tremendously successful with their campaigns, despite any limitations with their product. They know they have lost market share to BF, but they also know a smooth, well oiled and punchy ad campaign will bring in the volumes they need in pre-order and week 1 where they REALLY need it.

    • It may be true, but it’s not really as important as the quality of the COD games at this point.

    • HelghastUser

      Maybe. Probably. Most likely.

      But they don’t really need to try as hard as they are making it seem. COD shall be the best selling franchise on the next gen consoles for years to come. The positive reinforcement the COD series has received in the past from their loyal community with each subsequent release is a testament to that.

  • tanile

    I really hope the new engine is good looking, but I also hope that they bring new gameplay mechanics to the game. I want to see animations when I climb over obstacles, I want to be able to roll on the ground, and I want an improved survival mode from mw3. I hope that this game can be a new and fresh start for Call of Duty.

    • Dirtknap

      I’d settle for an engine that will support all these additional features that are added annually without compromising netcode.

      • Yes this. Keep the fundamentals of the game – hit detection – as good as it can possibly be and do not allow any amount of immersive nonsense to get in the way of rewarding skill over luck.

    • betosobreira

      “I want to see animations when I climb over obstacles…” – Oh Lord….

      • tanile

        It’s the least they can do! I honestly would like a whole new animation system that gives the game a new feel. I understand that COD needs to focus on changing some big things for their new game, but the small things are important too. I am bothered by the fact that my character starts levitating as I “climb” up an object.

        • betosobreira

          I agree that when climbing stairs the character is ridiculously ugly, but I think it’s the least of the problems in CoD for next-gen. Stop lag compensation, get weapons more balanced, remove target finders, remove deathstreaks and we will have a great game, as long as a new graphic engine. My opinion.

          • Jason Robertson

            And keep a competitive 4v4 system like league play..

    • -Player movement changes (sprint, sliding move/can still shoot) Peeking around corners on console,prone slower, and can roll side to side.
      -Dynamic loading screens (rappelling from choppers.etc)
      -No spec ops, Something new
      -MORE destructive environment. Lots of destruction in single player. IN multi player, just More set piece destruction.

    • I don’t want to be further immersed in the game by having control taken out of my hands for even a split second while the engine decides that it needs to induce a mandatory animation for climbing. If that’s in there, at least give us the option to not be defenseless while we are involuntarily sucked into that animation. I hate that shit. It slows down the pacing of the game and removes even more of the competitive element from COD that made it spectacular back in the COD4 and World at War days.

      • tanile

        I do not think adding a 1 second animation is going to make the game less competitive. Rather, I think adding animations like that will make the game more realistic. I like the game to be competitive too, but I do not want it to be competitive in the sense that everyone is unrealistically climbing up a ladder or over an object like Flash. I want people to play more strategically while at the same time keeping that face paced action that everyone loves from Call of Duty. I want someone to “check those corners” before they decide to climb up a ladder or over a dumpster or something like that. I agree with you to the point that the animations should not be too long, but I definitely think they need to be there.

        • There’s no way to make the game strategic or closer to military/CQB realism without hurting the pace of the multiplayer. I’ve often times thought that climbing needs to be a separate button from jumping so that a player does not inadvertently commit themselves to a climbing animation. If I had a choice, I’d choose not to add risk by climbing.

  • Battlefield marketing = show game footage, COD marketing = show everything in the world but in game footage. I really hope they bring something big to the table, but there is even doubt in their own quote.

    • MegaMan3k

      I thought Battlefield’s marketing was showing COD, or was that just an exception they made for Battlefield 4?

      • why would anyone show inferior game play ( checkers with guns, in maps that play the same since Counter strike 1.6.. go here do same thing 1000 times and it works) only unique mode is zombies and that is laughable at best, and inferior graphics ( i dont even have to defend that statement)… so please tell me how their marketing would be anything like BF3 ( remember the trailer 99 problems?)

        • Guest

          I have no idea what you’re saying. You’re criticizing COD and then asking why BF4’s marketing would be like BF3’s and calling out BF3’s trailer that was most similar to a COD trailer and I don’t understand whatever point you’re trying to make, but for some reason you’re implying I should be offended by it?

          My face is melting.

      • Jason Davis

        How is that? As far as I know, I have never seen any of the Gameplay in BF4 on a COD game…

    • Dirtknap

      If you examine both franchises marketing campaigns, they follow the same strategy historically (That’s not to say Activision aren’t going to mix it up as reported above, but they are clearly mirroring previous years at the outset). I hope they bring something big to the table too, but I’m not concerned at this point with them doing their stock standard tease pre E3.

    • True

      BF multiplayer trailers shows stuff COD can only do in there campaigns.

  • Hol_Up

    Largest marketing campaign, eh? I bet most of the money is going to the celebrities they hire to be in their live action videos. Who’s next, Robert Downey Junior, The Rock?… they may even dig up Michael Sheen.

    • Robert Downey Junior was already in a Live Action trailer so I don’t believe he can be next.

      • Koldybay

        Justin Bieber and Jayden Smith as a Ghost squad members, mowing down tons of stupid Russians/Arabs!

      • Hol_Up

        Well, shit…

  • what the hell is Skylanders? lol. I don’t know how I could never have heard of it if it’s more popular than COD…

    • Its some spyro the dragon type game aimed at kids, with some toys that can interact with it or something,

      • Goldensgods

        Yep and I have no idea how it’s popular, it’s looks gay as shit. If I were 10yrs old again I would still think it looked retarded..

        • TheTruthHurts

          Nah if you were 10 you’d be playing COD these days with the rest of em.

    • pot51e

      Skylanders is genius. You buy the game and it comes with a usb/bt portal and 3 figures that interact with it for £45. Then, the kids want to buy new figures every month, couple of months, birthdays, presents, xmas, etc – so my kids have saved up and with birthdays have 8 regular (£10 each) and 4 giants (£15 each). So that’s £185 – so far. Despite the press and jaded opinion, a damn site more kids play games aimed at them than at adults – I would bet that for every prohibited (under 18) kid playing CoD, there are 3 playing Skylanders – and the revenue stream is massive compared to CoD.

  • TheTruthHurts

    Christ almighty these guys have become the Apple of videogame publishing – a marketing company first and foremost and what they sell is wholly secondary

    • MegaMan3k

      Your word choice, argument structure, and fundamental misunderstanding of businesses would seem to imply that you fall into the same group of people that you try to condemn…

    • Executive compensation is usually determined by the board of directors, so blame them, not the kids.

  • hahaha u got pwned

    They need to somehow ban those annoying kids or make it where u put ur credit card info to activate the game online I hope the new xbox has online only

    • Jay Zero

      online only is the last thing anybody wants, firstly, second and third world countries and anyone with bad internet will have trouble connecting to an always online network, plus what if your internet went out? no xbox gameplay for you, plus they could ask for there parents credit card info anyways, they have a mute button for a reason

      • I hacked Microsoft web

        True fact mcrosoft stated 2 things u can still play offline gameing however if u want to play online games u would have to install the game to your harddrive and type a key code to play online so yea that is constant online connection

      • good i dont want sand niggers and spics hosting my games from poor shitland. FUck that.


        • Please go lay on the road

          I really hope that is not your picture. If it is I want to rape your face so bad. You look like a miniature Keanu reeves.

  • fuck arguing cod fanboys

    Why is every person who comments on these articles a fucking homo? Excliding myself naturally.

    • Its called humans

      It is the new generation, Everybody really truly thinks that what they say is the truth so we all argue. In reality everybody on this site including myself is getting screwed in the ass daily by game companies. Its kinda like fast food restaurants. Sure people has to work there but everyday millions and millions of people are getting payed such shitty pay by multi billion dollar companies you can barely live. So bottom line everybody on this planet is pure pussies. A marvelous quote from Fight Club said this. ” We work every day at jobs we hate to buy shit we do not need”. That is how it is and that is how it will always be till the day we die. SLIPKNOT made a song for this its called People=shit

  • Will it still lag?

  • “In Q1 at retail, Black Ops II sales were higher than Modern Warfare 3 sales in the prior year and online multi-player engagement set new records,” he said. “Q1 monthly active users for Black Ops II were up versus Modern Warfare 3 during the same period last year and total monthly active users for the franchise achieved a new Q1 high.”

    And somehow it still ended up selling about 20% less than MW3? What went wrong where? Sounds like the marketing was working well. I think it should be telling Activision that once people actually played the game they were unhappy with the actual product. They lost out on the “word of mouth” or worse, got bad word of mouth advertising.

    It sounds like Activision doesn’t recognize that the direction of the game is the problem. They believe marketing is the answer to the drop-off in sales.

    COD fans are starting to complain about the game’s engine. So the marketing department comes up with “Ghosts delivers an all-new story, all-new characters, an all-new Call of Duty world, all powered by a next generation Call of Duty engine,” and somehow “we” get built on a BRAND NEW next-generation engine, something that Activision and IW haven’t actually said. Impressive stuff Activision!

    I’m not going to bad-mouth Ghosts without seeing it, hell I won’t bad-mouth it without playing it, but based on what we’ll see about Ghosts this summer I should be able to make a decision on whether or not I’m gonna buy it. What will sell me is dedicated servers, more variation in map size, and gameplay that goes back to COD’s basics. All the marketing in the world won’t to convince me…. this time. Of course I said that with Black Ops II and bought it anyway.

  • anonymous

    The current gen consoles probaly can’t handle the next gen engine. The why I’m getting the next gen since lag won’t be there as much as well Microsoft stated the dial up and dsl connection will not be able to get the next gen consoles as well stated by hahahah u got pwned cod used to be fun when grown ups played back in cod 2 days with no leaderboards and no kill streak as well cod 3 and cod 4 after they added a lot of killstreaks in the game and kids thing they are good by camping or boosting for the streaks they suck and people with laggy ass conection they don’t die so back to constant internet connection it would be counld to wead out the thin connection and people with good connection can still play online.

    • YeAH IM CONFUSED, Im thinking either 1. next gen engine is shitty, and these consoles can run it, just down tuned. Or 2. Its sexy as hell and they massively downgrade it, or even stick with this engine for the current consoles.

  • anonymous

    True fact Microsoft did state the you can still play offline gameing however if u want to play online you would need to install the game to your harddrive and type in a key code to play the mp. So yea u do need constant internet connection. Microsoft won’t loose that much money people like me hardcore gamers will still buy the new xbox infact I’m buying 2 of the best xbox systems just becaus I don’t have too face lag on the xbox 360 next gent they also fixed the piracy anonymous already leaked it

  • I still haven’t read anything from the horse’s mouth at Activision that indicates the engine for Ghosts will be 100% new. Honestly, I need somebody to show me something that states that it’s not just simply another iteration of IW Engine.

    • They themselves have yet to say that. I keep hearing/seeing people saying/writing that the engine is “new” but when they quote anyone from IW or Activision it’s always “a next generation Call of Duty engine”.

      To me, that means is that they took the existing engine (the Call of Duty Engine) and adapted it to work on next gen consoles. I’ll be shocked if they threw out the old engine and built a new one from the ground up. I’m not even sure that’s necessary. I just would like them to be straightforward about what exactly the game’s engine is. It seems like they’re making it out to be something it’s not.

  • gamestop 101

    This just confirmed by my microsoft rep I work for gamestop the new xbox there is a offline version of the xbox which will be the cheapest one however if u want to have a online xbox it will be 499 that as well come with a two year xbox membership they are doing it smart they know how much little kids ruin the games for adults. Microsoft wants it to be more adult age which it was attended for in the first place its confirmed so get over it I’m supporting it the question is are u

  • Richie Tellez

    Just by the title alone I thought they were about to make pencils lmfao. Imagine that, takes 500 words to get a golden pencil for an additional $.25 haha that would be crazy haha

  • Alpine Maffu

    Uh, you misquoted guys. You said “COD: Ghosts To Be Supported by ‘Largest Marketing Plan in Brand’s History,’” and he actually said “ONE OF the largest”. So actually, it could be smaller than BO2. Think you need an edit here.