Modern Warfare 3 trounces Battlefield 3 in online play time

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is blasting away at Battlefield 3 in the number of hours played, according to an analysis and survey of 10 million gamers by the Raptr gamer social network.

Raptr reports that play data collected from its gamer network shows the Call of Duty franchise still dominates the $5 billion first-person shooter market when it comes to online play. Modern Warfare 3 users have logged more total hours in their first week after launch than Battlefield 3 users have logged in the past three weeks.

Modern Warfare 3 users logged about 40 percent more hours played on launch day (6.19 hours on average on Nov. 8) than Battlefield 3 users did (4.45 hours, Oct. 25); although Battlefield 3′s launch was plagued with connectivity problems.

During the first week, Xbox 360 players logged 17 percent more play time, or 20.45 hours, on Modern Warfare 3, compared to 17.37 hours on Battlefield 3.

The news isn’t great for EA, which made a major attempt to unseat Activision Blizzard with Battlefield 3.

On the other hand, four out of five Raptr users said they preferred to play Battlefield 3 over Modern Warfare 3. (They just didn’t follow through on that preference with actual game playing). John Lee, head of marketing at Raptr in Mountain View, Calif., said he sympathized with the hardcore gamers who like the realism, team play, vehicles, and large maps of Battlefield 3.

“We heard some backlash against Call of Duty because it is so dominant,” Lee said. “Still, Call of Duty has much stronger engagement than Battlefield. EA did a good job taking on the No. 1 game, but they didn’t take it down.”

It may be that the hardest core gamers like Battlefield 3, with 92 percent of 6,000 survey respondents saying they thought Battlefield 3 developer DICE is more innovative than Modern Warfare 3 co-developer Infinity Ward. But there are likely more moderate hardcore gamers who like Modern Warfare 3 better and play it more.

Still, it’s clear who is losing users to the rival game. About 53 percent of Battlefield 3 users are playing Modern Warfare 3 on the Xbox 360, compared to just 31 percent of Call of Duty players who are playing Battlefield 3. In the first week of play, Modern Warfare 3 stole more play time from Battlefield 3 than from any other game. About 80 percent of respondents felt that Call of Duty generates more hype through its marketing than Battlefield does.

For the first time ever for any franchise, three Call of Duty games (including last year’s Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 from two years ago) were in the top 10 play-time charts on Raptr. On average, Call of Duty players play the game for 60 to 70 hours, mostly on multiplayer since the campaign game is five to 10 hours.

This year, Activision is finally trying to monetize those extra hours of play by coming up with its premium subscription for the Call of Duty Elite service.

Raptr tracks actual game play data from its 10 million users. It compared that data with a survey of 6,000 participants in its Battlefield vs. Call of Duty showdown promotion.

[image credit: gamerant.com]

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