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Call of Duty Steam player base down sharply

Infinite Warfare's opening weekend sees peak player counts one-quarter of those posted last year by Black Ops III

The Call of Duty franchise may be showing signs of fatigue. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launched last Friday, and as previously reported, unit sales of the game at UK retailers were down 48.4% compared to last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops III. The game's downloadable prospects might not shape up much better, as tracking site GitHyp has pointed out that Infinite Warfare showed a similarly dramatic drop in the number of Steam users playing the game on opening weekend.

According to the site, Infinite Warfare peaked with around 15,280 players per hour on Steam during its launch weekend, less than 24% of the 63,681 players per hour Black Ops III managed in the same post-launch time frame. Infinite Warfare is also proving to be a less popular option for Twitch users, as it peaked with about 101,000 viewers, compared to Black Ops III's 190,000.

Those numbers may be negatively impacted by a handful of factors beyond simple demand for the game. First, the PC version of Infinite Warfare may be a less popular option due to a split playerbase, as customers who purchase the game through the Windows Store are unable to play against those who purchase the game through Steam. Second, the Legacy Edition and Deluxe Edition of Infinite Warfare come with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, a stand-alone remake of the original Modern Warfare, and it's unclear if GitHyp's numbers take into account people playing that version of the game instead of Infinite Warfare.

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Latest comments (4)

Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 2 years ago
Regarding Activision not enabling a combined playerbase on Windows Store and Steam, ultimately it shows how little respect Microsoft has for its own store. They would have been wise to just say to Activision, no thanks, we wont sell your game through our store unless you allow Windows Store and steam playerbase compatability.

Activision dropped its pants right in front of Microsofts storefront, mooned them and thats cool with Microsoft just as long some consumer pays them 60Usd or more. Never mind that the consumer might not be able to play with his/her friends. Never mind that it comes as a surprise as there is no mention on the product page giving a heads up. Never mind that the consumer might just as fast and more likely blame Microsoft for segregating players. Never mind that the consumer is likely to ask for a refund and most likely that consumer will never return.

And all this for a fistful of Dollars that Microsoft doesnt even need, not more than building customer trust and satisfaction, anyway.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
The question is WHY? Seems to me it might actually take more work to set up a walled garden than to join the party.

The game has separate achievements from theXbox version, which is why I decided to buy there for the better graphics, because I only play multiplayer as long as required to pop as many as are still fun.

The multiplayer is a barren wasteland. I let it chug Saturday night for half an hour, not one game. There are under 50 people who have it on TrueAchievements, and I may be the first in the world to beat on Veteran there. (Usually critics or Aussies fill the top ten, damn time zones)

I agree that Microsoft should have insisted on at least pairing with the One, but I can't help but think this is their idea they beat Activision over, and there's spite of some kind at work. Someone on one side of the other is playing games, There's a reason Microsoft offered a 20% discount, and that's it.

A third option is that the wording of Activisions new contract with Sony has very specific language about how they may support other consoles.

Gabe may also have thrown a fit, given his fever dreams of Microsoft crushing him like a bug (unlikely at this point, unless Microsoft invests tens of billions locking up every major PC title for 5+ years, which I doubt) Either way, it's a shame people with the proper connections don't seem interested in ferreting this out. Steam is a house of cards standing on the "all my games are there" rickety table. Their complete lack of customer service, and nigh-monopoly needs to end, and it's one reason why, along with console integration, I buy from anywhere else if possible. But how much competition is there when "competition" sells steam keys?

I don't know anyone at Activision, and none of my contacts at Microsoft deal with the PC gaming retail side of things, there aren't that many who do since it's so small right now. But Activision needs to give some answers, and since Microsoft has directly stated that it's up to them, and that they can connect anywhere they want, the ball lies with them
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 2 years ago
The ball firstly is with activision yes, but secondly and almost as importantly with microsoft.
Its not good PR when the press is giving out PSA´s that dont buy the game on the Windows store as you cant play with your friends on Steam.....if thats your thing, and for the majority it is. You dont buy a Call Of Duty game for the single player.

Yes there is a WHY to be asked from Activision but also a WHY from microsoft. Why allow a game, a predominantly multiplayer one, into your store that cant even be crossplay on PC? Microsof Store -->steam. Why not openly inform the fact on the product page? A very quick and dirty way of operating if you ask me.

It feels like its just about the money, not about building a platform based on caring for the consumer and the experience.

I would totally understand if Microsoft made any of their future exclusive AAA PC title exclusive to their own platform, to drive customers. Like EA did with their hit games not coming to Steam but rather exclusively to Origin. But this....Acitivision doesnt need this, microsoft doesnt need this and the gamer doesnt need this. It should never have been put on the store.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 2 years ago
I think Thur got blindsided frankly, that's also why the 20% discount, along with the existence of the product materialized out of nowhere.
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