Following its recent acquisition of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is enjoying the release of the latest instalment of its newly-owned Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 released on Friday 10 November.
But why is this title so important to Microsoft?
Call of Duty is King
The Call of Duty franchise turned 20 in late October. It’s fair to say that the series’ two-decade lifespan has been an impressive journey. According to Guinness World Records, it’s the best-selling first-person shooter series in history. Call of Duty is also the most successful gaming franchise created in the United States of America.
A Call of Duty title has been the best-selling game of the year for eight out of the last ten years. The series was only reduced to second place in the years when Rockstar’s immensely popular GTA 5 and Red Dead Redemption 2 titles came out.
It seems like Microsoft has taken ownership of the franchise at an optimum time too. Activision’s last earnings update, which covered the quarter ending 30 June 2023, noted that growth from the franchise had driven a 17% rise in Activision segment revenue.
Of course, the impressive sales figures mean more revenue for Microsoft. However, the series’ massive popularity gives the software giant a stronger grasp over the gaming market.
The Console Battle
Notably, Microsoft can harness the power of the title to entice gamers to purchase its Xbox consoles instead of rivals like Sony’s PlayStation. However, the series will not exclusively release on Xbox consoles. That's because Microsoft signed a “binding agreement” to keep publishing the games for PlayStation consoles for the next 10 years.
But there are other ways for Microsoft to flex its muscles.
For one thing, the company could make the series part of its Game Pass subscription offering, allowing Xbox gamers to avoid paying full price. With other top Activision Blizzard games like Overwatch and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater also potentially heading to the Game Pass roster, the service could become more enticing than ever to gamers.
Microsoft has lagged behind Sony and Nintendo in console sales over recent years. But the massive power of the Call of Duty franchise could provide the boost the company has been looking for.
Indeed, data from Statista shows that Xbox’s current generation of consoles has never achieved higher annual sales than either the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch. What’s more, sales appear to have declined slightly.
As such, it’s no surprise the company has been pulling out all the stops when it comes to marketing, including by seeking out the finest in social media marketing…
QYOU Media Partnership
Social media marketing specialists QYOU Media (TSXV: QYOU) (OTCQB: QYOUF) have announced a deal with Activision. This has seen them launch a unique creator-driven campaign for the new title.
QYOU Media brought influencers in SpencerX, Michelle Munchie, Trevor Bell, ZHC and Jamad Fiin to promote the latest Call of Duty. This group has a combined follower count of over 75 million.
The innovative campaign sees this squad of creators participating in a streamed showcase event and appearing in a live-action trailer for the game. Spencer X was even promoted in prominence in the live-action trailer to feature alongside traditional big-name celebs in the trailer.
QYOU and Call of Duty’s collaboration yielded more than 10 posts on social media with a combined total of nearly 10M views and 480K engagements. It even doubled the TikTok engagement rate benchmark!
It’s not the first time the social media specialist has partnered with entertainment royalty. Just a small sample include promotions for the Mission Impossible, Top Gun, Scream and Sing movie franchises, as well as the Resident Evil videogame series.
What is QYOU Media?
QYOU Media engages in the production, distribution, and monetization of content created by social media influencers and digital stars in India and the United States.
The company crafts and shares high-quality content through various channels including TV networks, VOD, OTT platforms, mobile phones, and smart TVs. Beyond that, QYOU offers an expansive selection of content destinations, apps, and gaming platforms.
Founded by leaders from renowned companies like Lionsgate and MTV, QYOU Media engages over a billion young consumers globally each month.