Activision’s Call of Duty franchise is one of—if not the—most popular and profitable titles in the world of video games. However, one analyst believes that the series, as a whole, may be declining.
As reported by Gamasutra, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia notes that checks by his company at retailers found that sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II during its opening weeks were down “as much as 20 percent” when compared to last year’s launch of Modern Warfare 3. Looking at the trends, Bhatia estimates that overall sales for Black Ops II could end up 10 to 15 percent lower than Modern Warfare 3 when all is said and done.
Bhatia believes that elements such as “slightly lower critical ratings, launching only a week after Halo 4, and launching too soon to Thanksgiving” could have helped contribute to initial sales of the game being lower.
It’s true that the Call of Duty series has seen an overall reduction in sales; as of last figures, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 had still not sold as many copies as its predecessor, Call of Duty: Black Ops.
However, I think it also has to be taken into account that we’re now quite far into the life of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. At a certain point, no matter what the teams crafting Call of Duty do, it’s getting harder and harder to impress players when compared to what they’ve seen before.
As well, when we’re talking a series that can routinely sell 12+ million copies of a game, those are still numbers that most other publishers would die to have.
How do you feel about the Call of Duty franchise? What can the series do to keep you interesting, and do you feel the length of time between the current consoles and next-gen systems has been part of the problem?