The game in question is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, the first-person shooter created by Infinity Ward and published by Activision, and the game still manages to score in both the NPD Group delivered monthly sales figures linked to North America and in the weekly United Kingdom chart.
A quick look at Modern Warfare 3 and the way the game was supported by the two companies shows a product that survives because of two main reasons: the developer’s ability to deliver serious pieces of content every few months and the impressive popularity of the multiplayer modes of the game itself.
The addition to Elite, the Content packages and the fierceness of the community have created one of the few titles that have real long-term success (one could also mention the FIFA series from EA Sports as another example, although for different reasons).
The fact that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has managed to keep its sales solid throughout the year probably means that Black Ops 2, the 2012 release in the franchise, might do the same during 2013, before handing off the baton to, probably, Modern Warfare 4.
This tendency to create an year-long sales blockbuster tells us something about the future of gaming and about the way rival publishers will probably try to imitate the concept that Activision has come up with.
Expect to see more services linked to games, more social integration, better integration of multiplayer and a decline in the single player focus for all the big projects launched in the coming years.
From some points of view it might be depressing for the gamer who’s looking for more than multiplayer and shooting, but it’s the way of the future.