Is Activision’s mega-shooter finally losing some steam? According to two separate industry analysts, the numbers indicate that it is.
Activision might be getting a dose of deja vu´ with its Call of Duty franchise. Activision´s Guitar Hero 3 was one of the biggest games out there and then yearly or bi-yearly releases started giving Mr. Kotick diminishing returns to the point to where they had to put Guitar Hero on hiatus. So, with all these different shooters out there, that are just as good as COD, should Activision start watching its prize franchise a little closer?
According to Gamasutra, they might want to do so because U.S. retail sales numbers from the NPD Group, reveal that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has sold 4.9 million copies for the Xbox 360, with 2.9 million for the PS3 version. Sales numbers for the Wii U version and the PS Vita’s Black Ops: Declassified, were not given.
Last year’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, sold a record-setting 8.8 million units on Microsoft and Sony’s platforms combined in its debut month; which was a healthy 10% increase over the eight million units the original Black Ops did in 2010.
Readers should note that the launch month for Black Ops 2 was shorter. In total, it had seven fewer days compared to Modern Warfare 3’s launch month. However, Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company estimated that Black Ops 2 would still only total 7.9 million units across all platforms, which would be a decline of 11 percent. To be fair though, people should not draw any major conclusions until the end of the year.
According to Gamesindustry Longbow Research’s James Hardiman also noticed a significant drop in Call of Duty’s sales. Using that same figure from before, the 7.4 million units figure, Hardiman points out a 17% drop compared to MW3’s sales last year. Considering Activision has announced that Black Ops 2 has reached $1 billion in the quickest amount of time (15 days,) but Hardiman rightly points out that Black Ops 2 capitalized on the Thanksgiving sales week compared to MW3.
“We do not believe that Activision did itself any favors by putting out a press release on Wednesday touting that Black Ops II had crossed $1 billion in just 15 days, faster than the 16 days required for Modern Warfare 3 to reach the $1 billion mark…What management did not mention is the fact that with an earlier release date, Modern Warfare 3 was able to reach $1 billion a day before Thanksgiving, whereas Black Ops II was not able to get there until after Cyber Monday.”
I think there is no denying that Call of Duty´s sales are still massive, but these numbers do show that there is a decline.
So, what do you think? Is Call of Duty on the decline? Activision does have a track record with other games that show they burn people out on their franchises.