Will Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Still Top Sales Charts Amid China Controversy?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Launch 05
Call of Duty: Modern Warefare is tipped to be a best-seller, but will the recent China controversy effect this? | Source: Activision
  • Call of Duty’s latest title, Modern Warfare, launched this week.
  • The game has earned rave reviews, solidifying its position as arguably the world’s most popular first-person shooter.
  • The release comes amid one of gaming’s biggest controversies in recent times involving its publisher Activision Blizzard.

Call of Duty is one of Activision’s biggest franchises and one of the most recognizable in contemporary gaming.

Thursday saw the release of the latest entry in the series Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a soft reboot of the hugely popular 2007 game of the same name. While all this is going on Activision Blizzard, the parent company of the game’s publisher is being heavily criticized for the scandal surrounding the treatment of professional Hearthstone player Blitzchung who had his winnings taken from him and was suspended from play when he spoke out in support of Hong Kong during a post-match interview.

Fans are Still Calling for a Boycott

After a huge amount of backlash for their treatment of Blitzchung Blizzard did eventually back off and returned the player’s winnings but many fans are still calling for a boycott of all Blizzard titles.  While Call of Duty: Modern Warfare bears the Activision name instead of the Blizzard name it is unclear if this call to action will affect the sales of the game.

Back in September industry analyst with the NPD group Mat Piscatella predicted that by the end of 2019 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare would be the top-selling game of the year. With the recent controversies surrounding the game’s owner, it is possible that these results may change.

It is a distinct possibility that the distance between Activision and Blizzard will help to protect the game from the backlash. Plenty of fans on Twitter have been posting about their time spent playing and enjoying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, so much so that the hashtag #CODMW is trending the UK and the US, even if a large amount of the tweets are actually to do with the large number of server issues that the game experienced during launch.

Video Game Boycotts are Ineffective

The real question that floats around this issue is: ‘has a video game boycott ever been effective?’. The truth of the matter is that boycotts have proven to be ineffective in the past, largely because those calling for boycotts often fail to adhere to them. Previously released games such as Left 4 Dead 2 have had boycott campaigns bought against them, but their sales were largely unaffected.

Boycott Modern Warfare 2 Group
The number of people who were in the Boycott Modern Warfare 2 group and played the game on release shows how ineffective these boycotts can be. | Source: Kotaku

As you might expect to find the boycott doesn’t currently seem to be affecting the number of people playing and enjoying Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. In the long run, it is likely that the current boycott will be confined to the list of failures along with all the others.

Samburaj Das edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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William Worrall

William Worrall

William Worrall is a professional writer based out of the UK who has been writing about video and tabletop games for over a decade and has covered industry events such as EGX and UKGE. , contact him at william.worrall@ccn.com, see his LinkedIn profile here, or check him out on Muck Rack.

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