Irish betting site Paddy Power has released the odds for this year's best-selling holiday videogame and you'll be shocked - shocked, I tell you - when you see who tops the list.
Okay, I lied, you won't be shocked at all. The bookmaker says Modern Warfare 2 has a virtual lock on the 2009 holiday sales title and is giving 13/8 odds that it will come out on top. Next in line is Assassin's Creed 2 at 9/4, while FIFA 10 is third on the list at 6/1. (This is Ireland, remember.) 2009 is something of a rematch; in 2007, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Assassin's Creed battled it out for top spot, with Activision's hit shooter ultimately emerging victorious.
"When the full weight of Activision's marketing machine kicks into gear we're in no doubt that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will enjoy the lion's share of the games market this December," a Paddy Power rep told MCV.
Despite the expected dominance of Modern Warfare 2, Sega U.K. Managing Director John Clark said he was hopeful the company could shovel out enough copies of Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games for the Nintendo Wii and DS (12/1) to pull off an upset. "There are only three games that can be Christmas Number One: Call of Duty, FIFA or Mario & Sonic. It is as simple as that," he said.
"The price cuts on the other consoles could make that a slightly larger challenge for us, and Modern Warfare 2 will be huge," he continued. "Will it be bigger than the last Modern Warfare? I think it probably will be. But we think it's achievable because the last Mario & Sonic achieved a 30 per cent attach rate on Wii and a DS attach rate of seven per cent. If we achieve even half of that, we'll be in with a chance."
The Odds in Full:
- Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: 13/8
- Assassin's Creed II: 9/4
- FIFA 10: 6/1
- Halo 3: ODST: 10/1
- Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games: 12/1
- Wii Fit Plus: 14/1
- New Super Mario Bros Wii: 18/1
- Need For Speed: Shift: 18/1
- Planet 51: The Game: 20/1
- James Cameron's Avatar: The Game: 25/1
- PES 2010: 25/1
- Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues: 33/1
- Left 4 Dead 2: 33/1
- Guitar Hero 5: 33/1
- The Saboteur: 40/1
- Ghostbusters: The Video Game: 40/1
- Tekken 6: 50/1
- Rogue Warrior: 66/1
- Brutal Legend: 80/1
- Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time: 80/1
- Saw: The Video Game: 80/1
- WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2010: 100/1
- Rabbids Go Home: 100/1
I don't think this is even legal in the U.S. but in Ireland and the U.K., they take their betting very seriously. And wagering on videogame sales isn't even close to as strange as it gets: Paddy Power has given odds on everything from the outcomes of various television shows to who Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will insult next and even whether the Large Hadron Collider will eventually prove the existence of God. (I've got $50 on a cold, random universe in which we all die pointlessly and alone.)