Building a Successful Call of Duty Clone in Three Steps

call-of-duty-mw3-midnight-launchThe most successful video game on the market right now is the Call of Duty series. Say what you will about the game’s lack of innovation and utter disregard for the single-player campaign, this is the most commercially successful game on the market. The last couple of years have seen gross sales of over $1 billion and units sold well in excess of 10 million.

As such, you could understand why everybody is looking to CoD for cues for their upcoming efforts. Just look at the new all-brown colour palette and gritty art style of Dead Rising 3 and EA turning Battlefield into an annual franchise. The thing is that Call of Duty’s success isn’t about how it looks or how often it comes out. It may come as a shock but there’s a simple but largely undiscovered formula that makes CoD a massive success.

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The Economics of Video Game Development

call-of-duty-black-ops-2-wallpaperA few weeks back, one of the hot stories in the video game world was that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 reached gross sales of $1 billion in only 15 days. What sounded like good news for publisher Activision was quickly reigned in by writers pointing out that CoD: Blops 2 sold fewer copies to reach $1 billion of gross sales than 2011’s CoD: Modern Warfare 3.

This raised an interesting question in my mind: How profitable are video games to make? Even if Blops2 sold fewer copies, shouldn’t Activision still have covered the sunk costs of development and marketing after paying for the variable costs of each unit sold? Continue reading

Wednesday Link-Off: Holiday Hangover

NBC filled their Monday with Chuck reruns and IGN named Mass Effect 2 their top XBox 360 game of 2010 so why not lead with Yvonne Strahovski.

For once, a complainer gets what’s coming to him. In 1974, a Cleveland Browns fan wrote in a complaint about other fans. The Browns’ response is epic. (Cleveland Scene)

Everyone has their own Christmas traditions now but how are we going to be doing the Christmas season in 500 years. (Cracked)

Here’s a funny little Christmas cartoon about a little boy who didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas. Parents beware. (The High Definite)

After the jump, how TSN grew the World Juniors, a Fox News fail and real-life Call of Duty. Continue reading