Modern Warfare 2 Awareness Dips Without “Call of Duty” Name


Activision’s decision to drop the Call of Duty name from Modern Warfare 2 has cost the publisher a huge amount of brand awareness, according to tracking firm OTX.

Whatever the logic was behind Activision’s decision to divorce the Call of Duty name from Modern Warfare 2, the move seems to be having some negative effects on consumers’ long-term interest in the game. According to figures from tracking firm OTX that was acquired by Gamasutra, brand awareness of the title among gamers dropped dramatically after the “Call of Duty” tag was abandoned.

When OTX was tracking interest in the game as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, 40% of gamers knew about it. However, “once it became clear that Activision was positioning the title as Modern Warfare 2, OTX removed ‘Call of Duty‘ from the consumer survey, and the awareness levels dropped to 20 percent,” said Nick Williams of the GamePlan Insights division for OTX.

So, the Call of Duty name alone doubles the awareness of a game. This shouldn’t be too surprising – it’s been my impression that in common gamer discourse the first Modern Warfare is typically referred to as CoD4 more than Modern Warfare. But to see that the Modern Warfare name doesn’t stand nearly as well on its own is a bit alarming – does this figure as a backfire for Activision?

According to OTX, Modern Warfare ranked high in its post-E3 consumer purchase intent rankings, but still trailed behind five other big titles, which isn’t really a good indicator considering how many copies of Modern Warfare 2 Activision is saying that it’ll sell this year.

Of course, there’s plenty of time before the game comes out, and judging by the promotional campaign Activision has already put on the game, Modern Warfare 2 might be more ubiquitous and powerful a brand than Call of Duty by year’s end. Furthermore, despite the drop in brand awareness, Modern Warfare 2 is still faring well – it has the highest “pre-order intent” for any game right now, according to OTX.

“Even without the Call of Duty association, it is still perceived as a must have title,” Williams said. I don’t think we need to worry about Modern Warfare 2 not selling well. I just kinda miss the Call of Duty name. Oh well, makes my life easier. Fewer colons to type out.

[Via Gamasutra]

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