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Xbox 360 Sales ChartTodd Bishop at the Seattle Post Intelligencer has pulled together some interesting data about how the Xbox 360 has impacted video game console sales. By pulling together publicly available data for a few of the largest game publishers, one can get an idea of how the Xbox 360 market is shaping up. This isn’t going to be perfect because first party sales figures aren’t going to be reported and there are many other game publishers that aren’t represented on the list. Also, because not every title released on the Xbox is available on the Xbox 360 and vice versa, there are going to be some gaps in reporting in this area as well. But this does give a really high level view of the console market, and how marketshare is shaping up.

Over the first nine months, it appears that most of the Xbox 360 marketshare is coming at the expense of owners of the original Xbox. A small percentage of Playstation 2 sales appear to have shifted to the Xbox 360, but overall, the console still remains the dominant force on the market. Gamecube sales dropped off, but this may have had more to with the fact that fewer titles are being released on the Gamecube than on the other platforms. Total sales of game titles released for either the Xbox or the Xbox 360 grew year over year, but this may be in part to the 20% premium that Xbox 360 titles claim over their counterparts.

Despite all of the limitations of the data pulled, this gives a really interesting look into which consumers are pursuing platforms. With the Playstation 3 and the Wii releases coming up, one wonders how much brand loyalty is going to play into the success of the next generation.

Read More | Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Gallery: How The Xbox 360 Is Affecting Video Game Sales


Call of DutyGamespot today is reporting that Activision has sold nearly $1 million in Call Of Duty map content on Xbox Live. CEO Bobby Kotick announced the numbers during a post earnings release conference call. According to Gamespot:

The free bonus pack, which included two maps, tallied 334,000 downloads. The $5 Skirmish Map Pack was downloaded 105,000 times and generated $368,000, and the $10 Invasion Map Pack invaded 66,000 360s and raked in almost half a million dollars.

Obviously, gamers are far more willing to download free content rather than pay. The price point that makes gamers balk doesn’t seem to have been reached. Though the Invasion Map Pack has sold fewer copies to date, the Skirmish Map Pack has been on the market for three more months.

More interesting are the actual dollar amounts. 105,000 copies multiplied by $5 is $525,000. If Activision’s $368,000 reported is their take from these sales, then Microsoft has made around $157,000. From the Invasion Map Pack, Microsoft took in about $160,000. If all of the downloadable content has similar fee structures, the Xbox Live Marketplace has the potential to become a huge cash generation machine for Microsoft. Activision isn’t likely to bemoan Microsoft’s cut, though. Clearly, downloadable content is a great moneymaker for them as well.

The danger of the success of downloadable content means that it makes more sense financially for game companies to have less content in the main game and provide add-ons through paid downloads. Hopefully, this doesn’t become an actual trend and downloadable content remains restricted to nice to have add-ons that don’t impact the fun factor of the original game.

Read More | Gamespot

Gallery: Call Of Duty Maps Sell $1 Million

Quake 4In an announcement on their website, Id Software announced that version 1.3 of Quake 4 will incorporate “feedback from the people playing it the most.”  Several of the patch’s features and gameplay changes were requested by the Quake community (improved performance and control), the patch will provide new maps, as well as a gametype and weapon.  Id is currently running a private beta test of the release, with the intention to release it to the public before the August 3 QuakeCon.

This is an example of how gamer feedback should work: via direct suggestions made to the developer, unlike Valve’s recent use of Steam-gathered statistics to tweak the balance of a certain zombie fight in Episode One.  With Id, it’s the fans, not the newbies, who control the path of the patches.

Read More | Id Software

Gallery: New Quake 4 Patch to Fine-Tune Multiplayer

Call of Duty 3

British Gaming Blog has a picture that they are claiming is a leaked screenshot of Activision’s upcoming WWII shooter, Call of Duty 3.  There’s some debate as to the authenticity of the picture, and we have to agree that it looks pre-rendered.  If indeed it is an in-game pic, then “wow” is all we have to say.

Some features of the new shooter are:

- Up close, hand to hand combat and traps to disarm, all requiring fast reflexes in the battlefield. - More destructible environments gives your enemies (and you) nowhere to hide. - Split level design means your tactics from sniping to guns a blazing will open different routes for you. - Execute parachute drops, armoured assaults or SAS commando raids. Riddle battlefields with tank shells and explosives. Drive tanks to topple barricades and invade enemy emplacements. - Brand new multiplayer engine featuring multiple occupancy vehicles for team based combat.

Read More | British Gaming Blog

Gallery: Leaked Call of Duty 3 Screenshot?

Tony Hawk Downhill JamIn a recent announcement, Activision declared that it would take Tony Hawk down a new road; specifically, into a Downhill Jam. The new Tony Hawk title, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, is slated to be released within the next year - most likely during the holiday season. According to IGN, the title will be geared toward a younger audience.

I bet the main idea behind a move to a younger audience is as follows - Activision has the Hawk license for another ten years or so. Since sequels haven’t been selling as well recently, Activision might have decided to leave the Hawk license for the kids - who have always strongly latched onto celebrities and IPs - while reallocating assets to create new titles/IPs for the slightly older gamers who are becoming burned out on sequel after sequel.

Additionally, I’d expect THDJ to be a bit more linear in level structure. Downhill Jam was one of the levels in the original THPS where you basically skated down a linear venue. Certainly not one of my favorite levels in the series, but I’m still curious as to how this new title will turn out.

Read More | IGN

Gallery: Tony Hawk Downhill Jam

Tony Hawk VideoTHUG 2. New Orleans level. 983,000,000 points. And you thought you were good at the game? I only wish the recording could be of me playing. Hit the link for the insane video.

Read More | Agoride

Gallery: Huge Tony Hawk Combo Video

American Wasteland

While some gamers have complained over the years about the Tony Hawk series and a supposed “lack of originality,” the series is still selling surprisingly well - apparently not everyone feels that the games have become stale. I, for one, have always been a huge fan of the Hawk series and I really enjoyed American Wasteland. While some other Xbox/PS2/Gamecube Activision games haven’t sold as well as expected, it looks like Hawk’s probably at least meeting expectations. Activision also had a big hit on their hands with Call of Duty 2, the biggest seller at the Xbox 360 launch.

Read More | GameDaily

Gallery: Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland Slated To Become 1 Million Seller

Call Of Duty 2: Xbox 360If you’ve played Call Of Duty 2 (Xbox 360) on Xbox Live then you know that the experience is less than stellar as a result of the lack of options. Some gamers decided to do something other than just complain - actually, maybe it’s not much more than complaining at this point, but at least it’s something in writing and directed at the people that can do something about it. Thanks to the ease of making online petitions there is now a petition online that needs your signature and your help promoting. The petition calls for the following additions:

  1. 16 player support
  2. Ability to create custom games
  3. Host is chosen by person who has best upload speed
  4. Admin options such as kicking a player out of the game
  5. Options such as map vote, vote kick player, etc…
(Thanks Munkyxtc!) Sign The Petition

Gallery: COD2: Call For a Better Xbox Live Experience

ActivisionIn sync with the lower game sales of November, Activision has lowered its sales expectations for the all-important current quarter. Despite strong COD2 sales, the company reports lacking sales. Unfortunately for the company, both True Crime and GUN came up very short in retail.

While such a slump can only be expected during transitionary months, as we go from current-gen to next-gen, the slide still comes as a surprise to many in the industry. Are the games being made just not good enough? Game publishers probably will end up current-gen game prices in the near future to help boost sales. Just because you’re selling more doesn’t mean you’re making more. Meanwhile, will next-gen game prices float upwards? COD2 is priced at $60 and it’s the number one selling 360 game, so publishers will only take these results as an indication to lower current-gen game prices but raise the ones of next-gen games. So who gets hurt most from all this? The hardcore gamers of course…

Read More | Next Generation

Gallery: Activision Lowers Sales Forecasts