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Is Modern Warfare 2 To Blame For The Decline In Game Sales?

by Sean P. Aune | July 20, 2010July 20, 2010 11:00 am PDT

Did you know that you’re playing Modern Warfare 2 multi-player for hours on end may be hurting the video game industry?  We know you did this innocently, but it’s time to pop out that game and put in another one. As silly as that may sound, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter may be on to something.

I usually have no use for analysts, but this one may actually be on the mark when it comes to the decline of video game sales we have seen as of late.

xbox liveAccording to Joystiq, Mr. Pachter said, “the overall decline was due to a very large number of people playing multiplayer online games.”  And he may be right as it is estimated that an average of 12 million people play Modern Warfare 2 ten hours a week.  This is taking away from the time a consumer may invest in other games, and that means fewer sales of titles due to no one having time for them.

Of course, Mr. Pachter’s solution isn’t going to win him any fans with gamers as he suggests that game publishers charge the players for all of their online time.  He sees all of this time online playing the same title over and over as devastating to the publishers and their shareholders.  He would like to see the “monetization of multiplayer” to help make up some of that lost revenue.  (I knew there was a reason I hate analysts.

So, in short your life with a game title would now go:

  • Buy game
  • Pay for online service
  • Pay to play game in some way
  • Pay for downloadable new content

Are you prepared to sign whole paychecks over to companies such as Activision?  Somehow I don’t see this going over too well with consumers, and there certainly no reason why it should, but that doesn’t mean that someone won’t try it.  As you can see in the video above, it sure looks like someone is playing with the concept, but how real or true that is remains to be seen.

Our advice?  Pop out your current game for an hour or two and give something else a chance for a little bit.

UPDATE: Infinity Ward has said they will never charge for online gaming, but that doesn’t mean others won’t.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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