During Activision's quarterly conference call, the company revealed that Call of Duty 2 downloads generated over $1 million in revenue. Kotick said that the game is serving as the "primary vehicle" that's spearheading Activision's experience with its supplemental online business model.That's right, the game has generated $1 million in revenue from just downloads over Xbox Live. Pure gravy, dudes.
Kotick said that he was "very pleased" with Call of Duty 2's performance in terms of downloads. Around half-a-million downloads were reported.
For reference, the data reported here indicates that over one million copies of Call of Duty 2 have been sold for the Xbox 360. So they're getting, on average, an extra dollar per sale. Not a huge relative increase over the money they get from the retail sale, but it's higher margin revenue as it has no packaging and no retailer middle-man. Put out a few downloads like that over the first year of a game's life and then we're talking real money.
What does this mean for you and me? I'll tell you what it means: developers and publishers will be tempted to hold back a level or two just to squeeze you for a few extra dollars later. I can't wait.
Battle for Middle Earth 2 (the 360 RTS) already did this. People who pre-ordered the game got three extra levels. Anyone else has to buy them from marketplace. So here is a game that wasn't even released yet, and had planned for months before the release to have levels downloaded from Marketplace. I don't think there is any more obvious example of withheld content than BFME2.