Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 had a huge November, selling more than 6 million units for the month. But in a recent interview with G4TV, Microsoft Xbox 360 Product Manager Aaron Greenberg said that it would have been a much different month without Infinity Ward's blockbuster hit.
"November without Modern Warfare 2 would have looked very different," Greenberg told G4TV, responding to a question about what the month would have been like.
But just how different is up for debate. Modern Warfare 2 was a major hit. It was a title that doesn't come along very often and it likely helped the game industry buoy its sales figures for the month. Greenberg agrees.
"There's titles that appeal within the inner circle of the core, but this is that title everyone that owns a video game console buys," he said in the interview. "If they buy two games a year, this was one of those games."
Greenberg went on to say that without Modern Warfare 2, "software numbers would have looked dramatically different, I don't think that people would have spent that money on another game."
Microsoft's product manager went so far as to say that Modern Warfare 2 stopped people from buying other tech gadgets.
"I think people actually said 'I'm choosing to buy Modern Warfare 2 instead of buying an iPod or instead of going to a movie or instead of doing something else. This is going to deliver its entertainment value for me.'"
Consumers bought far more Xbox 360 versions of the game (4.2 million) than PlayStation 3 versions (1.8 million). Without that help, Greenberg asserted that Xbox 360 software sales would have slipped. But he also believed that the company would have sold less hardware.
"My guess is we would have probably sold less consoles, too, to be honest," he told G4TV. "I think it was that kind of blockbuster, just like a new blockbuster movie--it's an event, people knew about it."
Greenberg's points were interesting, to say the least. I've always said that software sells hardware. And so far, that has likely helped the Xbox 360 stay ahead of the PlayStation 3. But with few blockbuster titles on the horizon, how will that affect sales going forward?
For now, we don't know. But we can speculate about a November without Modern Warfare 2. Would it have been as huge? Let us know in the comments below.