Call of Duty: Black Ops poised to far outsell Modern Warfare 2 - Analysts

Pachter, Wilson put NPD figures into perspective, weigh in on underwhelming Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood sales, Kinect and Move bundles.

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It wasn't surprising to see Activision's blockbuster Call of Duty: Black Ops atop the industry-tracking NPD Group's November US retail sales chart yesterday. However, industry analysts this morning released notes to investors that offered some additional perspective on the scope of the game's success.

Analysts believe Black Ops will top Modern Warfare 2's sales with room to spare.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter noted that US sales of Black Ops (announced by NPD as 8.4 million for November) suggest global sales for the month of roughly 14 million, or over $900 million. If 14 million copies of the game were sold to consumers in November, Pachter said Black Ops will have no problem exceeding the sales of Modern Warfare 2 by a large margin, as last year Activision had shipped only 16 million copies of the game for November and December combined, much less sold through them.

In his own note to investors, Pacific Crest's Evan Wilson upped his Black Ops sales projection from 16 million copies generating $841 million to 20 million copies and a cool $1 billion of revenue for Activision. Wilson said Activision titles like DJ Hero 2 and James Bond 007: Blood Stone have been struggling to meet expectations but said Black Ops alone makes Activision a cut above its industry peers.

"On a relative basis, it is still a mansion in a trailer park," Wilson said of Activision.

While Black Ops excelled, mild disappointment was a recurring theme in the analysts' NPD reactions. Even the second-best seller of the month, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, was labeled "modestly disappointing" by Wilson, because the game failed to match the first-month sales from last year's entry in the series, Assassin's Creed II. Wilson acknowledged that part of that was due to the lack of PSP and DS tie-ins this year, but mainly attributed the shortfall to disappointing sales of the console versions. However, he did note that he expects the game's sales to grow year-over-year in Europe.

Wilson also expressed disappointment in sales of Kinect games. Despite the hype Microsoft's motion-sensing camera system generated, Wilson said software for the unit totaled sales of $57 million, or about 4 percent of game sales for the month. Wilson didn't weigh in on the peripheral's most highly promoted titles, but he did say that Electronic Arts' third-person shooter Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 (the 360 version of which supports Kinect) was another disappointment, as the blockbuster movie tie-in sold fewer than 100,000 copies.

Kinect hardware fared better, with Pachter saying about half of Xbox 360 hardware sales purchased in November were bundles including the camera peripheral, enough to outsell Sony's Move-equipped PS3 hardware bundles by a ratio of 5:1.

Discussion

317 comments
PewPewNinja
PewPewNinja

@Driscoal I was comparing CoD with FF which i think is a good example. Don't put the online one in there that's all, i was just saying that there was a bunch of FF game (all pretty mediocre) and the IP is still going strong even after 14. Just to say that people love playing the same thing again and again ( again, Don't put the MMO there if it disturbs you).

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@Elfrancorifle @NorwegianWinter I can agree with that. While only COD4 can really be considered ground breaking if any of the. Stand alone I would say Black Ops may be the best while MW2 was trash. But overall none of the games are so good that they should get record breaking sales across all medias. A game that gets the kind of sales COD gets now should really be the best game people have ever played scoring perfect 10s unanimously. It is the Wii of games. It doesn't offer as much as everyone else while it still has a little to offer, yet people continue to buy them. COD has ruined the gaming market. From overshadowing great games that get poor sales despite it being a great game; to telling developers that they won't be getting sales if it isn't a shooter game. While shooters are good still, there are too many and other genres are almost non existent. When last gen shooters were only a little popular but the best games were a diverse selection of all genres.

NorwegianWinter
NorwegianWinter

@Toysoldier34 Yeah man, I hope these people enjoy the same game engine on every CoD game cause the developers can't develop a new game engine while releasing a new game every year. CoD2 and MW are my favorite because they actually brought something new to the table, especially MW. All Treyarch did was use the game engine that IW developed. I bought pretty much all the CoDs beside Black Ops, and I don't have any intention of buying it.

PS2Dude89
PS2Dude89

@CloudStrife97 The only map I have experienced bad spawns on is Nuketown, which is inevitable because that map is tiny. Coincidentally the majority of the Black Ops community loves that map and always votes for it. Zombies is the biggest game mode brought to the CoD series aside from multiplayer! It's even becoming more popular than the multiplayer and is definitley a lot better than Spec. Ops in MW2 which was quite obviously IW's attempt at mimicking the popularity of Zombies. It's starting to sound like your either one of the IW fanboys trying to bad mouth Treyarch in any way possible or u just suck at the game and this is where you release your frustration caused by your poor play.

digi-demon
digi-demon

Black Ops =MP online 'Domination' rulez :D

Tennies07
Tennies07

Yeah I agree realism isn't one of Call of Duty's strong points. Don't get me wrong I really enjoy the series but if your looking for realism this is not the game to choose. Although I will admit Hardcore is good for those seeking more realistic damage/death or whatever you want to call it.

frazzle00
frazzle00

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sabre85
sabre85

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CloudStrife97
CloudStrife97

@PS2Dude89 Your saying the spawn systems are better in Black Ops?! Yeah in MW2 you might spawn die a couple of times, but atleast you dont spawn with an enemy looking at you, or have an enemy spawn behind you! Black Ops has the worst spawns of ANY game, not just CoD games but ANY game in history, the spawns are terrible even die hard Black Ops fans say so! Not to mention the maps are terrible, the multiplayer is nothing but campers any time of day and they copied all the features of IW!! Did WaW have customizable killstreaks? All Treyarch has done for the CoD series is add in zombies, which is a cheap minigame that makes 10 year old kids happy, Treyarch never brings anything new to the series and made a mediocre shooter.

PS2Dude89
PS2Dude89

@CloudStrife97 I will admit WaW didn't have the greatest graphics in the series but since when are graphics the most important thing? I play a game to enjoy it above anything else. You want to talk about spawn systems? MW2's spawns were abysmal at best, I can't count the times I have been spawn killed in that game! There is no way Black Ops could have worse spawn systems than that! Plus, you can't forget the abundance of ridiculous glitches that the IW devs somehow missed. So you know I own WaW, MW2, and Black Ops. Never bought CoD4 but did play it a few times, not a fan at all. I just prefer Treyarch's work much more, and am not blinded by the IW hype...

CrimsonCorp
CrimsonCorp

Black ops is fun game overall imo. I'm surprised that its gonna sell more than MW2... That being said, Activision's next COD is gonna have a VERY tough fight on its hands next holiday season. Mass Effect 3, TES Skyrim, Uncharted 3 (i think)and to a lesser degree Gears 3 are just a few of the Titans that are coming 2011 ...

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

I think everyone agree black ops isnt that good. Just go to Metacritic. the user scores are around a 60!!!! these website have to give these games good scores or they will never get to preview future games. They get a lot of perks from the companies. imagine if Gamespot was the only company to give Black ops a 7 or god forbid a 6 out of 10. Activition would never share any news with them again. it would cost activition millions of lost revinew. We are talking about a Billion dollar game!!! to think deals are not made or at least winks then you are naive.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

Thats my que to sell this bland boring game and go back to a REAL game. Battle Field Bad Company 2.

killer690
killer690

I'm not surprised about AC brotherhood, while it is a good game, I don't know, it's only like a bridge between AC 2 and hopefully AC 3, much like Bloodlines on the PSP, I mean, it only continues Ezio's story and while it is a nice game, with a lot of new things in the franchise, which, honestly might make the best AC to date, doesn't bring much to the overall story, and it is true that you do play as Desmond - SPOILER XD - I do feel the need of knowing what's gonna happen, or where is the new setting is gonna take place, is it going to be inspired in historical events again? or is it gonna take place in 2012? I just need to know!!!!

thedigitals
thedigitals

@Arther-la-Blunt What are you talking about, $60 is the standard price point for new games. If you wanna save $10 buy it at Walmart, they're currently selling Black Ops for 49.95

Arther-la-Blunt
Arther-la-Blunt

and noone has anything to say about the $60 price point. I may be alone on this but that's too much money! $10 more than every other new game. it's just ridiculous. Where will it end?

MOwens9512
MOwens9512

These dudes are hilarious. They refuse to state the obvious reasons for all of their commentary. The new Call of Duty and/or highly anticipated FPS will probably always outdo the last in the series or anything that they're competing with. FPS fans always come out strong for their games and invest way more time into them than even online-RPG fans do. No big suprise there. Also, Kinect is a brad new piece of hardware that's on everybody's Christmas list with a small collection of games that for the most part mimic each other like all motion control devices. New 360 owners who buy it only got it for their family and friends and already have a game to play with it, and people who already had a 360 are patiently waiting for something more substantial for their Kinects. I swear why do people post these fools' reports? I wanna get paid for stating the obvious and guessing at stuff too! LOL

Elfrancorifle
Elfrancorifle

People are just blind.... Imo Black Ops is better than COD4... Yeah IW made COD blah blah blah But you got to admit they improved COD in Black Ops but! For me Black Ops and all Call Of Duty games got boring because what they're really doing is balancing and putting new maps... Black Ops for me is the best COD but I'm bored of it already because I've been playing the same damn game since COD4!

cajunstrike
cajunstrike

Agreed. It bears repeating: Whether it be Activision with Call of Duty or Electronic Arts with Madden, publishers are certainly less likely to overhaul a game's graphic engine if the title continues to sell well - particularly if it grosses more than its predecessor.

howie1926
howie1926

@KillaFreedom Listen, I love IW just as much as the next person, but I am not going to not play a great game because they did not make it. I don't like Treyarch, but they did a AMAZING job of stepping in and creating a great game. It's a shame what happened to IW. I did not forget who created CoD at all. You don't want to play Black Ops that's fine. Personally, I feel it is the most balanced multiplayer experience out of all of the CoD. Because or your ignorance you are missing out

kejigoto
kejigoto

The blind masses strike again!

pbz5
pbz5

here comes call of duty again (sigh)

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Here they go again.. These analyists with their hard job of looking at sales figures and figuring out that Black Ops is selling at a quicker rate. Man. If only I had the ability to do their jobs.. Oh wait.

drummerdickens
drummerdickens

Sensible perks with no overpowered Kill Streaks that stack and count towards OTHER kill streaks with recoil applied to every gun with an amazing theater mode > OMA abusing, Danger Close, ridiculous killstreaks, boosters, people camping with multiple claymores, grenade launcher replenishing, recoiless ACR and Marathon, lightweight, Commando absurdity. Therefore: Black Ops > MW2.

yosuke_hitomi
yosuke_hitomi

yeah,the name did sells but now it all has changed

KillaFreedom
KillaFreedom

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mightEone
mightEone

Call Of Duty sells because of it's name. It's no different than little kids wanting a happy meal. Even though the toy is a piece of crap, kids have to have it. Same with rehashed games like COD. Kids just have to have it even though it's crap.

mission76
mission76

For me, Black Ops will probably be my last in the COD universe. I just can't keep plunking down 60$ a pop for rehased MP and shorter and shorter SP campaigns. It was fun while it lasted, but I'm taking a break after this one!

Inconnux
Inconnux

The spawn system has been broken since CoD 1. Both companies have proved incompetent when coding a workable spawning system.

enragedcritic
enragedcritic

cod sells alot.. i was disappointed with the short campaign though.. the multiplayer is still solid..

steelmouth
steelmouth

i hate this damn COD but got to admit the games are a bunch of fun so i do eventually get them months after release

TrapMuzik92
TrapMuzik92

Activison knows if they slap on a title that says "Call of Duty" it will sell like mcdonalds french fries.

kratos-lll
kratos-lll

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

bad_fur_day
bad_fur_day

Obviously the fans don't care which studio made which call of duty.

CloudStrife97
CloudStrife97

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CloudStrife97
CloudStrife97

@Kingslayer513 I play Reach, it is WAAAY more fun than Black Ops. MW2 was alot better than Black Ops. They have HORRIBLE maps and the worst spawn system I have ever seen from a shooter. I knew I shouldnt buy a Treyarch game, but I took the chance and regret it.

Kingslayer513
Kingslayer513

Wow so am I the only one who still plays Halo: Reach? Lmao Black Ops is cool and all it's just that I spend a majority of my time yelling in anger at random grenade throwing and the terrible spawn system that ends my 10 kill streak... If Reach had killstreaks then that would definitely be my number 1 game.

PS2Dude89
PS2Dude89

I think it's funny when people get so offended over any comment toward black ops or modern warfare 2. Treyarch is better than IW. Black Ops and World at War are better than cod 4 and MW2! HA

Ovog
Ovog

Let the flame wars start!

SweetPandaLove
SweetPandaLove

I bought the last one, I bought this one, I'll buy the next one. Call of Duty are excellent games. Support what you want to support, don't support what you don't want to support, it REALLY IS just that easy.

Units420
Units420

Bottom line is if you don't want to see the same game with a slightly new coat of paint released year after year, don't buy it. Far too often, I see people complaining about a new release and then going on about how they bought it anyways. I stopped buying Madden and don't see myself going back unless there is real innovation. I tried MW2 and got real bored with it quickly. So I know for a fact I will not like Black Ops

CammanderReyes
CammanderReyes

Idk what you people are talking about call of duty black ops is a great game with a few flaws. There are obviously to many people here who haven't even played it and are already hating just because its a successful game.

sbdoherty
sbdoherty

i bet some people would buy call of duty: tic-tac-toe just because its call of duty...

ahnzz
ahnzz

I like some of these comments, half of them ignore the Kinect, and complain about COD, just awesome

fat_otter
fat_otter

XxPika740xX clearly doesn't know how to mute his mic. As for the glitching, I rarely encounter people taking part in this (at least on Xbox) so I have no clue where that's coming from. Plus Black Ops is nowhere as hacker-friendly as MW2 was.

XxPika740xX
XxPika740xX

@Animatronic64 I forgot to but the word "almost" in my first sentence. It's a typo, but a big one.

XxPika740xX
XxPika740xX

@Animatronic64 Because it IS IMPOSSIBLE to find a random server with regular people in it. It's one or the other, if in one server a person is screaming racist remarks, then you move right? What happens then? You go to a server where someone glitches under the map and is killing people without any chance of dying. You move then? A person is taking advantage of a certain "class" (you should know what I'm talking about in MW2.) move then, right? Then you get a team full of idiots who run out in the open and get sniped over and over again. It's pointless to fight it. Even if you do find a good server, the amount of time it would normally take to find one isn't worth my time. It's an endless cycle, online sucks. True you could get a clan, but that means people expect something of you when you play. Ex. every match you must have a KDR of 1.5 (which isn't hard) but if you have a few bad matches then they might kick you. And that's an elitist part of the gaming community I don't want to be a part of. But your point is a valid point. My argument mainly is based on splitscreen, If you CAN do it, why not? What's the point being anti-social staying your house all day? Like I said, I'd rather get my ass kicked by a friend that could teach me, instead of some loser who spends all day playing online. I don't know, maybe that's just me.

voice83
voice83

i'm still having too much fun with need for speed to even care.