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10m Call of Duty 4 players put the true power of Xbox Live into perspective

By on January 8, 2009

Infinity Ward this week posted some COD 4 usage stats on their blog.

By 3rd January 2009, 10,006,606 unique users have played the game on Xbox 360 and have connected to Xbox Live at least once after playing. So that is probably an underestimate.

All of those users include people who have rented, borrowed or pirated the game, giving Activision a chance to work out how much “lost” revenue exists in the gap between # of copies sold and # of users who played it.

From a developer’s point of view, Infinity Ward could analyse how many people finished the single player campaign (46.5%), how many completed the game on Veteran setting (2.8%) and much more.

This information is planning gold-dust. It enables developers and marketers to see what people are doing and playing, where they get stuck, and how the game is used. Expect a whole new discipline of games marketing to thrive in the analysis of what gamers want: it will help publishers put their money in areas that most players use.

Infinity Ward point out that 4.3 million unique users have played on the PlayStation 3 (and on the PlayStation Network, they can only track multi-player users.)

I think that this kind of analysis will start driving publishers towards new business models as the discrepancy between units sold (i.e. revenue to publisher) and unique users (hugely valuable in terms of advertising and upsell revenue, but currently making zero money for the publisher) becomes apparent.

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: