Activision Says Pre-Orders in a “Downturn,” Call of Duty “Not Immune”

As the new console generation progresses, video game pre-orders appear to be on the decline.

That, at least, is what was claimed by Activision Publishing president and CEO Eric Hirshberg in a recent investors call. Speaking to investors, Hirshberg affirmed that while game sales continue to grow and stay strong the importance of pre-orders is in the middle of a “downturn.”

“It’s also important to sort of reset expectations as it relates to preorders overall,” Hirshberg said. “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.”

Hirshberg blamed the decline on several factors, including things like “increased digital consumption” on next-gen consoles and a falling off of demand for software on older systems. He would then go on to say that even industry staples like Activision’s Call of Duty games are “not immune” to this shift and that company’s may need to begin monitoring things like awareness and purchase intent to gauge a product’s odds of success. Hirshberg didn’t specify whether or not he personally saw the move away from pre-orders as a bad thing, but we’d wager a guess that Activision probably preferred having a guaranteed number of sales before a game’s launch, whether or not it was actually beneficial to consumers.

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3 Comments on Activision Says Pre-Orders in a “Downturn,” Call of Duty “Not Immune”


On August 6, 2014 at 10:52 am

Perhaps it’s the constant DLC gouging


On August 6, 2014 at 11:22 am

It also doesn’t help when games like COD offer pre-order DLC and then take it away after a week despite claiming 24/7 availability. Not much point in pre-ordering if it doesn’t get you anything.


On August 6, 2014 at 11:15 pm

I’ve never understood the point of pre-ordering, personally. It’s not like the product is going to run out of stock. You’re basically buying something when have no idea what the finished product is like, which is just completely weird to me. Why pay money when you don’t know what you’re getting? And the whole pre-order bonus that they put on these releases is just a legal form of bribery.

No thanks. I’ll keep waiting for reviews before spending any of my cash.