On November 8, Activision will ship its latest Call of Duty entry, the Infinity Ward-Sledgehammer Games-developed Modern Warfare 3. That game has large shoes to fill, as its predecessor--Call of Duty: Black Ops--is the best-selling game of all time not only in the United States but also in the United Kingdom.
However, Black Ops is not untouchable, according to Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter. He believes Modern Warfare 3 could surpass sales of 20 million units, a figure he predicted Black Ops has sold to date in May. Officially, Black Ops has sold 13.7 million units in the United States. However, the shooter has likely sold many more copies than that, as it has graced the NPD's top 10 software list often since its arrival.
Pachter justified his belief that Modern Warfare 3 will break Black Ops' record "due primarily to the network effect created by the game's remarkable 17 million weekly active unique online players."
Pachter believes that Activision's introduction of Call of Duty: Elite--a stat-tracking and social application--could cause some Call of Duty fans to "defect" to Electronic Arts' Battlefield 3, which ships before Modern Warfare 3 on October 25. The beta for Call of Duty: Elite launches on Thursday.
Modern Warfare 3 outselling Black Ops is not a completely wild prediction. GameStop reported in June that preorder figures for Modern Warfare 3 are tracking ahead of Black Ops'. Additionally, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has previously stated his belief that each entry in the series will outpace the last.
For more on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, check out GameSpot's latest preview of the game.