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Modern Warfare 2: Launch is Here!

November 6, 2009
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2

MW2 releases 11.10.09

11.10.09

This is a very exciting date for gamers.  The new Modern Warfare 2 releases for PS3, XBox 360 and PC.  The internet has been ablaze with constant updates on the game since the NBA Playoffs when Infinity Ward showed their first teaser trailer.

Modern Warfare 2 is the perfect example of a great IMC campaign, especially for a video game release.  It was a perfect storm: a highly anticipated product, marketed extremely well to the correct target market (Gen Y).

Important to point out: The game had legs to begin with.  The original Modern Warfare was touted as one of the best first person shooters ever made.  The sequel has been anticipated ever since the first one launched.

After announcing the sequel, Infinity Ward used an amazing marketing strategy to keep the hype up for months.  The MW2 team applied a slow leak formula to their communications.  Slowly giving information about the story, game changes, multiplayer, and new Special Ops mode over the matter of 8 months.  They had the internet ablaze with anticipation.

MW2 also had great relationships with video game sites (like IGN), where they would release new info, videos, trailers, and information periodically.  These sites then did a great job marketing their coverage, as it was a big draw for traffic.

MW2 also did a good job co-branding with Monster Energy Drink.  They ran a MW2 promotion of 4 packs of cans where you could win games, free map pack downloads and a viewing of a exclusive MW2 strategy webcase.  That webcast was Tuesday: (here is the link to the videos: STRATEGY).

Many independent blogs devoted to the new game started during the process, giving gamers a “best of” on MW2 news.  These blogs also distributed lots of information that the MW2 team didn’t want releasing.  A premature release of a couple copies of the games happened last week and lots of extra footage was released to the internet; creating more buzz than there was originally.  Infinity Ward might actually want to thank that French Guy that first put his gameplay videos on Justin.tv.

Gamestop also teamed with MW2 to release their Pre-Order contest Surprise Attack.  Usually, gamespot gives away something for pre-ordering a game like a: demo, extra download or perk etc.  This time they teamed with MW2 to launch Surprise Attack, their sister contest site which customers would enter their pre order code to enter in bi-daily raffles for 1000s of prizes.  Prizes ranged anywhere from dog tags or shirts to a snowmobile or hummer.  They did a great job promoting this contest with their co-branded Gamestop MW2 commercial for the pre order:

The proof of the success of the  launch campaign for MW2 is in the industry and market reactions.  Industry wise, most major games decided to push back their releases until 2010.  Other games just couldn’t keep up with the hype, expectations and what will be sales of MW2.  An industry writer wrote something months back saying something like, “It’s not a matter of what game will be game of the year, it a matter of what games could possibly challeneg MW2 for the title.”  How can the industry battle a juggernaut like that?  Well in this case, most couldn’t.

Market wise, Gamestop just reported that Modern Warfare 2 broke every record they had for pre-orders of a game.  More copies have been pre ordered than any game before it.  This means HUGE profits for Gamestop.  Yes, most stores did pre-orders but Gamestop received most of them.  This guarantees them $60 x [However many millions of pre-orders they took].  Not a bad profit that will come 11.10.09.

This massive industry and market wise success is because of the careful planning and strategy that was used for MW2.  It was a marketing campaign on a scale that no video game had ever seen.  Boy did it pay off.  It will be interesting to see if other big release games can try and emulate the success of this campaign in the future?

In case you were wondering, yes I did pre-order it and yes I’ll be picking it up at midnight.  And no I’m not a nerd, I only do it for Madden and COD.

Now I’m wondering; who preordered? Who didn’t? and who’s not going to buy the game

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 25, 2009 8:42 am

    Wow enjoyed reading your post. I submitted your rss to my google reader.

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