Activision: Call of Duty more engaging than Facebook's top three games

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Activision Eric HirshbergReally, Activision? Then why are you working on Facebook games as we speak? Gamasutra reports that Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said during the 13th Annual Pacific Crest Global Technology Leadership Forum that Call of Duty players are more engaged in the company's games than the players of the top three Facebook games are. Hirshberg went on to say that Call of Duty (CoD) gamers put up more cash than Facebook gamers.

"Call of Duty has more players who pay-to-play online than any Facebook game," Hirshberg said, "and our players pay more per player on average than any Facebook game." Um ... duh? Hirshberg fails to make the distinction that Facebook games are free to play, and triple-A franchise games like Call of Duty cost $60 per copy. In other words, of course more CoD gamers are paying to play than Facebook gamers--they're all paying to play the game. (Well, aside from the pirates, which is sort of a given.)

Not to mention that close to 12 million Facebook gamers in the U.S. alone pay for digital goods in their favorite social games monthly, according to a PayPal study. Better yet, about 1 million of those are paying at least $50 monthly for virtual horses and other boosts. While those folks are special cases, games like Call of Duty lack the payment structure for such dedication.

Hirshberg continued to elaborate on the fact that CoD players are more engaged than Facebook gamers: "They're also more engaged - the percentage of Call of Duty's monthly unique players that play the game every day is higher than that of the top three Facebook games."

Call of Duty Elite
We all know at this point that Hirshberg is referring to Zynga, though he does raise a good point with his use of the word "unique." Many of the monthly players of Zynga's games play more than one of them, hence the overlap and the fewer unique monthly players. The Activision exec makes these claims after the company revealed recently that it is, in fact, working on social games. Not to mention that its number on competitor, EA, is investing heavily in Facebook and mobile gaming. Furthermore, Activision is building a social overlay (though sans Facebook) to support its upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. So, we're not sure just where the Activision exec is coming from on this one.

What do you think inspired Hirshberg to make these claims? Do you think the Activision exec raises a good point, or do you think these companies have reason to worry in the face of companies like Zynga? Sound of in the comments. Add Comment.
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