Call of Duty’s Fans, the live-action trailer for ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (The Vet and the nOOb)’ hasÂ just became available. The video is part of the buildup to the much-heralded (or depending on your point of view, overhyped) U.S. release of the game on Tuesday, November 8 for PS3,Â Xbox 360 and PC.
Late-night sales at retailers such as Best Buy, GameStop and Walmart will jump-start what’s expected to be the year’s No. 1 title.
Publisher Activision Blizzard says pre-orders are ahead of last year’s ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops,’ which sold 25 million units (more than $1.5 billion) and supplanted the previous record holder, 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, as the top-selling game ever.
“It’s pretty clear there is demand in the 25 million unit range,” says Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter. “Last year, Black Ops sold 17 million at holiday and another 8 million in the first half of 2011. Modern Warfare 3 should sell at least 18 million at holiday, and we’ll see what its legs are.”
Numbers like that compare with global box office figures for films such as Titanic and the Harry Potter films. (Avatar remains supreme at about $2.8 billion.)
The standard version sells for $60; a $100 version comes with a year’s subscription to the new Call of Duty Elite online service, aimed at the 30 million who have already played in CoD multiplayer matches.
Each game has a first-person, single-player “story mode” â€” an antiterror soldier in the near future battling a Russian global offensive â€” and the ability to play squad-based combat on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Some of Elite’s features, aimed at enhancing the multiplayer experience, will be free, including player and game statistics and Facebook-like networking features on the Web and mobile devices.
Paid subscribers’ perks include competitions with real-world prizes; strategy guides; private matches; new downloadable multiplayer maps, usually $15 each; and Friday Night Fights, a TV-type show with celebs (Jack Osbourne, Michelle Rodriguez, Good Charlotte) and special teams (Army vs. Navy) playing head to head.
Call of Duty Elite “promises to keep the game feeling fresh and new and relevant year-round,” says Scott Steinberg of consulting firm TechSavvy Global. “Instead of just selling you a one-shot product, they are selling you an entire service and the culture that comes with it.”
There’s also a SpecOps game that lets you and a friend battle waves of enemies. “It’s not just a great game,” says Stephen Cameron of XboxAddict .com, “but a great deal.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is available for preorder now, retailing for $59.99 for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 â€” but look around, youâ€™ll find it for a few bucks less in some online stores. [via USA Today]