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Heading into last weekend it was announced that it would not only be a Double XP weekend but also a Steam Free To Play weekend for the PC platform – along with a sale on Call of Duty:Ghosts for 50% off. They like to get this Steam FTP weekend in right before the first DLC drop (which will be on February 27th) so that they can pick up any last interest in the game to hopefully boost the DLC sales that will be coming in the future from this point on. It’s kind of the last ditch effort to really push sales for the game – and with Call of Duty:Ghosts it’s definitely needed.
[blockquote align=”left”]For those PC players eager to prestige, now’s the perfect time to enlist in some front line action. PC users can try out Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer for free on Steam right now until Sunday, February 23rd (1pm/PST). If you want to come back for more after the trial ends, we’re also slashing the price of Call of Duty: Ghosts on Steam by 50% until Monday, 10am/PST.[/blockquote]
Usually there is quite a bit of interest in taking the current COD game for a test drive when the Steam FTP weekends come around whether it is just random people who just like to check out the current COD title and have no plans to buy or those COD players that are still sitting on the fence hesitating to make the purchase from when it released. So how did it work this time around for Call of Duty:Ghosts – the most under performing Call of Duty title in years? Well it helped a little bit. You can tell based on the peak player count that some sales were actually made because it did put the peak player count back up above the abysmally low 8,000 – 9,000 players that it has been averaging to just under 11,000 players. Previously player counts had dropped low enough that not only was Black Ops 2 beating it (consecutively) but on both the 19th & 20th last week Modern Warfare 3 was actually beating it as well. As a side note however; the Titanfall BETA was going on both of these days so that might have had a little influence on the numbers. This is a small gain for sales and peak player count however I don’t think it will help keep Ghosts peak player count above the previous titles for very long at all.
The bigger thing that I want to stress here is not so much the sad peak player count for the title this early on and the little gain that this Steam FTP weekend achieved – but more so the huge drop in the lack of interest in Call of Duty during the Steam FTP weekend all together.
The table below compares the peak player count of Call of Duty:Ghosts to Call of Duty:Black Ops 2 for their first Steam FTP weekend (as well as the current player count at the previous weekend before the FTP weekend) and just like initial sales & player counts of the two titles it is shocking to see so much less interest there is in this Call of Duty game – even when it is offered for free.
Usually with a title like Call of Duty this Steam FTP weekend brings in huge numbers but once again with Call of Duty:Ghosts the interest just isn’t there and the Steam FTP weekend player counts are practically cut in half compared to Black Ops 2 one year ago. Whether it is player experience, reviews, word of mouth or just being plain sick of the series people just didn’t go for even trying Ghosts. I sincerely hope that Activision, Sledgehammer & Treyarch are looking at these same numbers if they really truly do care about understanding and supporting this platform into the future because clearly something needs to be done differently if the PC platform interest and support is to be gained again.