October 24, 2019 / 9:33 PM / 20 days ago

Activision set for another billion-dollar hit with "Modern Warfare" launch

Oct 24 (Reuters) - "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare", the reboot of the widely popular first-person shooter game, will launch on Friday and is set to become another billion-dollar hit for publisher Activision Blizzard Inc.

The game is a fresh take on the popular Modern Warfare sub series of the Call of Duty franchise that was initially launched in 2007 and has since become a rage among gamers. It lets gamers portray elite soldiers hunting down targets in different parts of the world.

Michael Pachter, managing director at Wedbush Securities, estimates that the new game will sell 20 million units by the end of the year, while Doug Creutz at brokerage Cowen forecast unit sales of mid-20 million in the fourth quarter.

The game's highest edition is priced at $99.99.

A beta version of the game was released in September and has become the largest in the history of Call of Duty in terms of users, hours played and peak concurrent number of players, Activision said.

A trailer of the game on YouTube garnered more than 33 million views and 575,000 likes. (here)

"Call of Duty is a very established annualized video game franchise and has a core dedicated fan base that comes every year and picks up the new version," said Mat Piscatella from research firm NPD Group.

The latest version of the game will release globally on Oct. 25 for Sony Corp's PlayStation 4, Microsoft Corp's Xbox One, and PC. It will compete with other big titles to be launched later this year, including "Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order" and "Pokemon Sword and Shield."

"We anticipate Call of Duty: Mobile has minted a new audience of fans who will seek out Modern Warfare as their first taste of the franchise on console and PC due to a positive experience with the mobile game," said Alex Malafeev, Co-Founder, Sensor Tower.

"Call of Duty: Mobile", launched earlier this month, was developed for smart phones by Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd, which also has a stake in PUBG's Bluehole and Epic Games' Fortnite and is credited with popularizing the battle-royale format, where dozens of online players battle each other to death. (Reporting by Neha Malara, Amal S and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Sweta Singh and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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