Analyst: Black Ops II on pace for record sales

Cowen & Company industry watcher says post-holiday sales of latest Call of Duty game tracking better than Modern Warfare 3.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops II is on pace to become the best-selling entry in Activision's military shooter series to date, according to one analyst.

In a note to investors today, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz said post-holiday sales trends for Black Ops II have been "significantly better" than those for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Thanks to this sales jolt, Black Ops II will likely surpass the original Black Ops' estimated life-to-date sales of 25 million units to become the franchise's overall top performer.

Activision has confirmed a new Call of Duty game for 2013, but has yet to divulge any details about the project. In an earnings call in February, Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin said the company does not expect sales of this game to match Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

Activision Blizzard will report earnings for its latest quarter on May 8. Creutz believes the company will outperform guidance thanks to in-line or better-than-expected sales of Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Skylanders.

The analyst expects World of Warcraft to have lost as many as 300,000 subscribers during the latest quarter, though this attrition is in-line with expectation. The game had 9.6 million paying members at the end of December.

Creutz described 2013 as a "bridge year" for Activision Blizzard, with strong earnings expected in 2014-2015 thanks to Bungie's Destiny, Blizzard Entertainment's Titan MMO, and the new console cycle.

Discussion

114 comments
and3p_mtsu_s13
and3p_mtsu_s13

I’m actually very surprised that Black Ops II finally surpassed the sales of other individual Call of Duty titles. As is evident, the yearly games consisted of simple weapon swaps, along with a couple of different perks (some of which were just renamed) and camouflage options. By “best-selling,” I am to assume it means in original copies, not DLC nor the new micro-transaction sales. The actual sale of these camos in BO2 and even more class slots just makes me think of Activision as even more greedy than I previously thought. Although, I can’t say I would not do the same. Those transactions are smart, because they know people will buy them. Just like people buy their games.

I thought the point of sale decline would have started at Modern Warfare 3, but it didn’t. I myself have purchased every Call of Duty for Multiplayer since CoD4. MW2 was the peak for me. The rest are merely activities to enjoy with friends. I believe that’s the problem. There aren’t enough competitors in types of games that call for the amount of fun CoD brings, like it or not. At the end of the day, a lot of us hate the same old thing, yet still play because very few games can hold our attention with the multiplayer replay value of the CoD franchise. We need something different.

James9002uk
James9002uk

Brought it the first week it came out, sold it within two days. Still enjoying MW3.. but COD has lost me

tionmedon
tionmedon

never bought it........got bored with series...............

sinn_exit
sinn_exit

I wonder if COD sales will continue to boom when the PS4 and Xbox 720 are released? 

I feel sorry for other companies that don't make as much money, despite pouring in more effort (Square enix) 

Fabregasgunner
Fabregasgunner

Why don't they just start releasing the cod games as dlc every year.. After all that's what they are they never change. No need to keep boxing them and branding them as a new version

djpetitte
djpetitte

This is a good example of how we are a nation of morons.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

This is the reason why Activision will never stop developing Call of Duty games. And why other developers will never stop making cookie-cutter versions of it. :(

xtraflossy
xtraflossy

(after just scrolling the comments)

Let me say "all the sheep" , "The sheep" , "sheep"

... you yourself actually sound just like a herd of people who can't come up with an intelligent or original reason as to WHY they dislike something.  Sure, you can list all the usuals, but the game is so streamlined in it's mechanics

Screw it- I buy each game because for $60 I get a crazy amount of playtime for that amount.  That's like 2 movies at the theater for myself and girlfriend when it's all said and done.

Be mad and prove a point by not buying the game - I understand it's cool to hate on COD., but it's more "trendy" to be worring about whats trendy then to just buy a game that you like, or ignore one you don't care for.

cuddlyfuzzle
cuddlyfuzzle

Call of Duty is the greatest video game ever made....that and World of Warcrap

xtraflossy
xtraflossy

"Activision has confirmed a new Call of Duty game for 2013, but has yet to divulge any details about the project. In an earnings call in February, Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin said the company does not expect sales of this game to match Call of Duty: Black Ops II."

I mean, why not?  Every game has suceeded the last unless...

Hmmm... confirmation that the next cod will be next gen ONLY?

SkamArtist
SkamArtist

That's soo funny, I was in GS the other day and a kid who was no older than 12 was with his mom, and she bought BLOPS2 for him. I just shook my head.

Dumper1
Dumper1

That is why originality is dead, the sheep dominate gaming.

buccomatic
buccomatic

breakin' records because it's the best game ever, and everyone who is anyone knows it's true!


so sad that the mis-informed, and backwards, vocal minority will disagree.

leandrro
leandrro

is there going to be a new engine in the new cod for next gen consoles?or they will release again the 2005´s visuals in the next gen consoles to compete with bf4 at ultra settings running at 60fps?

swyg
swyg

When will the nightmare end?

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Still waiting for it to hit a $2 dollar a campaign hour price on a Steam sale.  It may be a while as the first BLOPS hasn't hit that price yet.

somebody337
somebody337

I love CoD but I think the next game will be the start of the end :(

VisualPendulum
VisualPendulum

After seeing a trend of beloved franchises failing financially and going down the train, this article really unnerves me. Recycling will harm any franchise but CoD, and I'll never know why.

firedrakes
firedrakes

still the mw3 was crap. horrible hit detection and awful buggy online for ps3 and the thread for it was deleted to cover it up

Techn1c4l
Techn1c4l

P.S. One week remaining until the announce of new Call of Duty game.

leandrro
leandrro

what if i predict terrible losses in next years due to the COD fatigue togheter with the total lack of next gen software/engines/games

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

war never changes. thats why perhaps cod never changes.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

This is a pick up and play game; while I wouldn't really play it by myself expecting a deep experience nothing beats COD and Madden and nba 2k for the average get together with the boys

leandrro
leandrro

just a trolling fact: on pc BF3 sold 2,38 and BO1,45

supermoc10
supermoc10

To all the people who are like "This shit never changes" or "Activision just milks this crap every year":

1. I like this about CoD. When I go to my store on the second Tuesday of November, I know what game I'll be playing. They found a winning formula that people enjoy so why the hell would they change something people like (if it ain't broke, don't fix). I wish Halo would still do this.


2. If people keep buying it, WHY THE HELL WOULD THEY STOP RELEASING IT?

sinn_exit
sinn_exit

@djpetitte A nation of sheep, mindless idiot sheep. Activision pull our strings and like puppets we dangle.

rtircoklled
rtircoklled

@Dumper1 I'll second that.  I'll never understand why people waste 60 just to get the same thing and don't give me that then why is it selling so much or explain the new campaigns crap.  I can explain both, it's mostly kids getting the came cause they wanna be cool (just see the midnight release line for proof, I drove by one once it's hilarious) and the campaigns are mostly the same in each game (and no one really plays for the story so who cares)  

jhr77
jhr77

@swyg When parents stop buy their kids these crappy COD games...lol

leandrro
leandrro

@somebody337 the end started in 2007, cod3 was much better than cod4,play it and check for yourself

JLCrogue
JLCrogue

@leandrro Not surprising, seeing as how the map packs come out on Xbox 360 first, making it so most people buy the game on that console.

leandrro
leandrro

@supermoc10 they should not sell it as a new game for you every november, they could just release the new map pack of the 2005 game you like, that is in fact what the annual releases are

96augment
96augment

@forlietu @SavoyPrime He's talking about COD, not WoW.

sinn_exit
sinn_exit

@rtircoklled @Dumper1 It's simple, look to your friends online through PS3 and 360. Try telling them to stop buying it and they'll tell you some nasty words. 

leandrro
leandrro

@xtraflossy @leandrro this is great news, a decent cod at last after so many years, where that rumors come from?

leandrro
leandrro

@jhr77 @swyg lol, its like a angry kid annoyed for some reason and the the parent (who does not know nothing about games) says: i will buy you another call of duty ok?

leandrro
leandrro

@JLCrogue @leandrro i think that cod is an american phenomenom, x360 is dominat in america so cod will sell more on x360, sales on battlefield 3 for exemple are stronger in europe while cod sell 3 times more in america

cronos809
cronos809

@leandrro @supermoc10 except for the whole, 60 dollars for a new cased game, a different campaign, different maps, and usually one more exclusive thing that is ignored. so it's not fact that its a dlc, it's merely an opinion. just as people can/might argue that it's not a different campaign because you still shoot people lol


JLCrogue
JLCrogue

@leandrro @JLCrogue Part of that could be because DICE, the developers, are European, while Treyarch is an American developer.

berzerk0912
berzerk0912

@TheGovenor  That's a whole lot of Vaseline.