Analysts Discuss If Call of Duty: Black Ops II Can Break Sales Records

by William D'Angelo, posted on 07 May 2012 / 3,261 Views

Analysts speaking with GamesIndustry International discuss the possible sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. The first Black Ops has sold over 25 million units worldwide and not all analysts believe that Black Ops II can outsell all the other Call of Duty. Reasons for the lower sales include that the current generation is winding down and new consoles are needed, as well as competition from Halo 4.

Michael Pachter, the Wedbush Securities analyst said, "I don't think Modern Warfare 3 is going to sell more than the last Black Ops, so I doubt that this one will break a record. I think that Call of Duty is a phenomenon, selling way more than 20 million units annually, and it's unrealistic to think that number can grow meaningfully with each annual release."

Colin Sebastian of RW Baird said, "We are forecasting Black Ops 2 to sell roughly the same number of copies as Modern Warfare 2 in 2011. Call of Duty is the only mass market core video game and the console industry continues to consolidate around a small number of top franchises. Halo 4 is a potential wrinkle in the ointment with a November launch, but on the flip side, GTA V likely not shipping until March helps. Overall, I think games like Call of Duty need new console hardware - developers are working with 7-year-old technology in an environment when tablets and smart TVs will soon be just as powerful."

Jesse Divnich an analyst at EEDAR said, "The entire HD market is very soft at the moment, and it is understandable that retailers, publishers, and analysts are likely to be conservative on any Black Ops II forecast. Whether Black Ops II sets any records this year will depend entirely upon the overall engagement of HD consumers, which is largely out of the control of Activision and Treyarch. Every year we question whether the Call of Duty franchises can set new records, and for the last four years they have proven us wrong. Personally, I wouldn't under-estimate Activision, even against the odds of a more torpid HD market this holiday season."

Billy Pidgeon at M2 Research said, "Call of Duty should continue to do very well and is likely to continue to break records as it will sell into a larger installed base of consoles," he stated. "I think other big hits will also continue to perform strongly until we get into the console transition and enthusiast spending begins to shift towards hardware again."


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7 Comments

kumagawa (on 07 May 2012)

"Michael Pachter, the Wedbush Securities analyst said, "I don't think Modern Warfare 3 is going to sell more than the last Black Ops" It already has. Some anaylst.


MattAnderson (on 07 May 2012)

No, it hasn't.


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enrageorange (on 08 May 2012)

he is talking strictly USA, and according to NPD it has actually fallen behind black ops in aligned sales.


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JaxxRaxor (on 10 May 2012)

@Galvatron At least in terms of global sales for all systems, I would say it does have a good chance of surpassing MW3, primarly because Treyarch seems to be making the single player more dynamic, which could attract people who don't really have an interest in the multiplayer. If this game is released on the Wii U (a good bet it will get at least a delayed but enchanced released) that will help put sales up higher because thats one more platform to help Activision line their pockets, even if its worth only an extra 1 million in sales or so.


spurgeonryan (on 09 May 2012)

CoD will do fine for the foreseeable future


VGKing (on 07 May 2012)

@the_dengle Is he wrong? Looking at multi-platform games that appeal to both core and casual gamers, Call of Duty is the only one out there breaking records. Assassins Creed and FIFA sell well but aren't as mainstream.


the_dengle (on 07 May 2012)

I didn't realize "mass market" implied record-breaking sales. I'm pretty sure it refers to the number of consumers your product is available to -- in other words, CoD is "mass market" because it's multi-plat.

I don't know how you can claim FIFA isn't mainstream, either. I guess it depends on what region you live in -- FIFA is almost as big as CoD in Europe.


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VGKing (on 07 May 2012)

@kumagawa I bet Pachter only has access to NPD/USA sales data. This is why he says MW3 still hasn't outsold Black Ops, which is true for the US, but once you count everywhere else, it has.


Galvatron (on 07 May 2012)

It might break MW3s record. I do like that Treyarch is at least trying to change things up. I want to see some gameplay. Black Ops 1 was the last COD game I played. Didn't like MW3. I personally play the hell out of Battlefield 3. These last 6 months playing BF3, i enjoyed that more than all the time I spent on the COD franchise. So Black Ops 2 has to be phenomenal for me to get it.


the_dengle (on 07 May 2012)

I'd like to know just what Colin Sebastian means by, "Call of Duty is the only mass market core video game." Is he serious?