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Black Ops launch is Activision's "biggest investment ever"

Marketing opportunities and installed base of hardware justifies cost, says Kotick

Activision CEO Robert Kotick has said that Call of Duty: Black Ops will be the biggest launch investment the company has ever undertaken for a product.

Speaking to investors last night, Kotick said that marketing opportunities for the game along with the current size of the console installed base, justify the expense involved in marketing the title.

"[Call of Duty: Black Ops] is across the board, the biggest investment that we've ever made in a launch of a title. And I think when audiences see the product, they'll see why we're doing it this way," he said.

"But the market opportunity is bigger than it's ever been. The installed base of hardware is bigger than it's ever been. The product has incredibly broad appeal, but it also has a whole host of functions that are going to be unique to the core consumer. And from that perspective, we feel like it's the most appropriate Activision product to put these kinds of resources behind."

Kotick said Activision is aware of the amount of competition in the games market, and the battle to win consumer's leisure time.

"I think there's a lot of competition, not just from games but from a whole host of other things that you can do with your leisure times. And this is something that we think has the potential to break through and appeal to a much broader consumer base than ever before."

Thomas Tippl, chief financial officer, also revealed that bad press following the West & Zampella fall-out has not left the company short of new talent, with over 5000 hopefuls applying to work at its Call of Duty studios Infinity Ward and the newly-formed Sledgehammer Games.

"Year-to-date, we have received approximately 5000 applications for positions at our Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Studios alone.

"And out of that incredible pool, we've selected approximately 60 extremely talented individuals to join our teams," he added. "These additions have been important, and we've been very pleased with the game development you've seen from both studios to date."

The company said last night that online sales of Call of Duty map packs reached 5 million in the last three months, outperforming the four boxed games the publisher released at retail during the same period.

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