According to market-analysis firm Cowen & Company, sales of Activision’s newest Call of Duty is down 19 percent compared to a similar time frame for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
As GamesBeat reports, this isn’t a big surprise; we’re straddling a generational change, and so many players are likely waiting until they get a new console before picking up a game. Activision even accounted for this, warning investors that the sales of Ghosts may not live up to the numbers set forth by its predecessors.
An analyst from Cowen, however, says there’s more to it than that. Analyst Doug Creutz says that “while the year-over-year gap is only 19 percent thus far, that includes two extra weeks of sales for the 360 and PlayStation 3 versions [of Black Ops II]. Against [Modern Warfare 3], where the difference is only a week, the title is down 32 percent life-to-date.”
The Call of Duty franchise has never had a year like this, and it’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds. Call of Duty came into its own with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare after the 360 and PlayStation 3 had already been established. This is the first time this massive, yearly franchise has had to not only release on every platform available, but account for users waiting for future purchases.
If this were any other year, it would spell major problems for the franchise within Activision. The expectation is that the game will sell more and more each year, so drops like this are a big deal. It sounds, though, like Activision is prepared to weather this for a year or two while the new user base expands and players decide whether they’re going to pick up a new system or not.