Modern Warfare 3 may be the most controversial game among recent Call of Duty releases. Following criticisms about an overly short campaign, reused multiplayer maps, and a $70 price for this package, the game has been through a rocky start.
Because of the IP’s influence, Activision reported encouraging engagement, but it was clear that the initial reception had let down the publisher. One month after launch, Christopher Dring from Games Industry reports disappointing figures for Modern Warfare 3.
According to GSD data, Modern Warfare 3 sales were down 38% in the UK.
Why it matters: Call of Duty is the biggest annual franchise in the gaming industry, with Activision making billions from these games and microtransaction sales every year.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sales were down almost 38% in the UK compared to MW2 (for the first three weeks on sale). Overall, game sales in November in the UK fell 3% year-on-year (GSD data)
— Christopher Dring (@Chris_Dring) December 11, 2023
Last year, Activision reported new records for Call of Duty. Modern Warfare 2 was an incredibly successful launch, boasting over $850 million in sales revenue in the short span of three days.
This made Modern Warfare 2 the biggest Call of Duty launch. Fast forward to 2023, and the franchise is not doing so great. Modern Warfare 3 is not only the worst-reviewed game in the series, but it seems to be underperforming.
The data presented above compares sales from the first three weeks of both games in the UK. When put side-by-side, the latest title is a noticeable step down compared to its predecessor.
Activision has not released any figures about the title’s revenue or sales so far. Modern Warfare 3 was also discounted much sooner than past entries, hinting at worrying signs for this entry.
Despite this regression, Modern Warfare 3 was still the best-selling game of November in the UK.
Still, die-hard fans of Call of Duty have nothing but praise for Modern Warfare 3 and Sledgehammer Games.
The studio is continuing to use the community’s feedback for changes tailored to hardcore players. This includes reverting changes from the last game and introducing a testing playlist to consider feedback before updates to gameplay mechanics and modes.
While the current data represents the UK market, a similar trend will likely be reported once data for other regions is available. Call of Duty games are famous worldwide, so Activision may consider changing its strategy to avoid similar results in the future.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.