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Call of Duty “not immune” to slump in preorder demand

Wednesday, 6th August 2014 09:32 GMT By Matt Martin

Preorders for games across retail are in decline according to the boss of Call of Duty publisher Activision.

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And although demand for Advanced Warfare is better than last year’s Ghosts release, he noted that the franchise is “not immune” to the slump in preorders currently hitting retailers.

Speaking in a call to investors, CEO Eric Hirschberg highlighted three reasons why he thinks customers are preordering less games.

“You guys can see the same thing we see industry-wide, which is that there’s been sort of a secular downturn as it relates to preorders.

“We think that’s happening due to a number of factors: things like increased digital consumption, particularly on the next-gen consoles; titles being widely available on day one; and the decline overall for demand of software on the previous gen consoles,” reports GamesIndustry International.

While those three points stand as measurable factors for a business like Activision, critics of preorders may also suggest that there’s a fatigue amongst consumers.

Major releases now have a number of special editions and alternative content that can only be found in preordered packages. Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs had 9 different editions with multiple extras available for release.

This causes confusion and frustration to consumers trying to decide on the right release for them, a problem confounded by particular preorder bonuses only being available at specific retailers.

And when consumers see that previously ‘preorder exclusive’ content is later available to all after a game has been released, that only causes resentment from fans who felt pressured to buy into a particular preorder package at the expense of another.

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