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Infinity Ward Only Cost Activision $5 Million

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It has emerged that Activision’s ownership of Infinity Ward may have been a much more astute piece of business than you would imagine. While Modern Warfare 2 has already made £47 Million in the UK alone it seems that its developer was picked up for a rather measly $5 million (approx. £3 million) back in 2003. Hardly pocket change for most of us, but considering the returns you have to call it the bargain of the decade.

According to Develop, Activision made the move for Infinity Ward after the release of the original Call Of Duty, first picking up 30 per cent of the developer and then buying it outright. Apparently Activision wasn’t even that sure the deal was going to pay dividends at the time saying there was, “no assurance that we will realise long term benefits,” from the deal. On launch day Modern Warfare 2 is believed to have sold almost 5 million copies in 24 hours, so clearly Activision underestimated what it was buying.

For comparison Develop has detailed some more recent developer buyout deals such as the $105 million paid by Zenimax for id Software, $107 million for Bizarre Creations spent by Activision and $800 million spent by EA on getting BioWare and Pandemic.

Ed Barton, games analyst for Screen Digest told Develop, “Activision keeps to a philosophy of buying talented development houses to work on attractive IP that can be iterated year on year on year. I think we saw this with the success of Guitar Hero; it’s not until you get the backing of a massive publisher such as Activision that you’ll turn an interesting IP loved by core gamers into a major blockbuster that can outsell major movies on opening weekends.”

Via Develop