The decision to drop the Call of Duty from Infinity Ward's follow-up to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has hit the present day shooter where it hurts, right in the sensitive brand awareness zone.

Does that mean Modern Warfare 2 is in trouble? Hardly! While tracking firm OTX found that awareness of the game by game buying consumers in the United States was effectively halved following the deletion of the "Call of Duty," according to a report from Gamasutra. Activision shareholders should rest easy, however.

According to OTX's research, the presumably far more important "purchase intent" for Modern Warfare 2 remains high. High enough to match the 11 million sales estimates that some analysts are projecting? Maybe, if the also mysterious "pre-order intent" data is to be believed, with OTX calling it the "highest of any title currently being tracked."

"Even without the Call of Duty association, it is still perceived as a must have title," Nick Williams, who runs OTX's GamePlan Insights division.

Survey: Modern Warfare 2 Loses Brand Awareness Without 'Call of Duty' [Gamasutra]