Analyst: Call of Duty: Ghosts Sales Troubling for Franchise

by William D'Angelo, posted on 19 December 2013 / 12,438 Views

Call of Duty: Ghosts launched in November and was the bestselling game that month. However, sales have dropped for the franchise. According to analyst Doug Creutz, from the firm Cowen & Company, Call of Duty: Ghosts sales are down 19 percent compared to last years game, Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Call of Duty publisher Activision had warned investors that sales for Ghosts would be below what Black Ops II did a year ago. Doug Creutz has stated that sales are far worse than what Activision had hinted at.

"Upon further reflection, we think the [Call of Duty] numbers are a bit more troubling than they first appeared," said Creutz in an investors note. "While the year-over-year gap is only 19 percent thus far, that includes two extra weeks of sales for the 360 and PS3 versions [of Black Ops II]. Against 2011′s [Modern Warfare 3], where the difference is only one week, the title is down 32 percent life-to-date."

"We don’t think it is out of the question that the title could wind up comparing down 20 percent to 25 percent year-over-year [to Black Ops II], which is appreciably worse than the down 10 to 15 percent that we think is baked in to guidance."

Call of Duty: Ghosts launched on November 5 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U and PC. The game was also a launch title for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later that month.

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A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. Outside, in the real world, he has a passion for the outdoors which includes everything from hiking to having received his B.A. in Environmental Studies. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com.


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11 Comments

sabastian (on 19 December 2013)

I don't know. Sales are in the tens of millions. Some games sell like 2 million and is a success, it COD can maintain a 10+ million unit sales I think it will see many MANY more iterations.


fatslob-:O (on 19 December 2013)

The franchise is far from doomed as it will likely get 10+ million sales in the near coming iterations.


Wighead (on 19 December 2013)

The problem is not with the franchise itself but with the shareholders (Investors) of activision that makes money when call of duty sells more than expected. If the drop in sales is a trend, it means big trouble for activision, since loosing investors trust may result in loosing a lot more money than just the lost in sales of the game itself. In the end, activision may end up in trouble even if call of duty is selling 10 million + copies if those sale are not what the company or financial analyst were expecting.


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Wighead (on 19 December 2013)

The problem is not with the franchise itself but with the shareholders (Investors) of activision that makes money when call of duty sells more than expected. If the drop in sales is a trend, it means big trouble for activision, since loosing investors trust may result in loosing a lot more money than just the lost in sales of the game itself. In the end, activision may end up in trouble even if call of duty is selling 10 million + copies if those sale are not what the company or financial analyst were expecting.


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TurboElder (on 20 December 2013)

Battlefield sales are 33% down.


Michael-5 (on 19 December 2013)

It's a transition period, COD 2014 will also suffer weaker sales because the fanbase is split over 4 consoles (360/One/PS3/PS4).


Nintentacle (on 20 December 2013)

You forgot the 5 Wii U fans.


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oniyide (on 21 December 2013)

nope blops 2 was down from MW3, the series is on a delcine thats all.


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FujiokaMidori (on 25 December 2013)

Here's a piece of advice... STOP RELEASING THE SAME DAMN GAME EVERY 12 MONTHS


mochachino (on 22 December 2013)

Nothing stays on top forever


vinocts (on 04 January 2014)

awesome, i like this game


Shadow1980 (on 23 December 2013)

I wonder if there were other factors that negatively impacted Ghosts' sales. We had GTAV come out a couple of months ago and it is already one of the top-selling games of all time, and it's still selling well, plus Battlefield 4 also came out. Also, we had both the PS4 and XBO come out, which may have affected sales even further as several million people had less money to spend on software because of the hardware purchases, and with attach rates of 2.31 for the PS4 and 2.39 for the XBO, there's going to be a lot of people. That all being said, assuming VGC's numbers are accurate, by year's end Ghosts won't be too far behind Black Ops II (it's at over 13 million already with four more weeks of sales in 2013 to add to it, while BlOps2 sold over 19 million last year), not to mention that it was by far the most popular title for 8th-gen systems and the second most popular for 7th-gen systems, hardly indicative of a franchise "in trouble."


Dark_Lord_2008 (on 22 December 2013)

Paying $60 for an annual extension pack that looks and plays almost the same as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. This game series has been in a time warp for almost a decade. All Call of Duty Games are the exact same besides a new coat of paint.


Podings (on 20 December 2013)

So when they've run this series into the ground, what will be their bread and butter?


beuwolf (on 20 December 2013)

Skylanders, Destiny, WoW, Diablo, Starcraft... I'd say they are fine.


  • +1
sethnintendo (on 09 January 2014)

Good thing they bought Blizzard then right? Although I see Diablo, Starcraft and WoW as series that are losing their fanbases also.


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binary solo (on 19 December 2013)

What goes up must come down. Acti surely knows that CoD fatigue is going to set in eventually and that the con they will have to pull at some point is re-branding the franchise. Give it a new name, give it a bit of a different look/feel/vibe, but basically recycle the essential elements. Whether that's in the next 3, 5 or 10 years is the only question.