Despite Analyst Concerns, Activision Says Advanced Warfare Can Outsell Ghosts

"We see purchase intent well above last year … so I'm still optimistic," Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg says.

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While some video game industry analysts believe Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare won't sell as many copies as 2013's Call of Duty: Ghosts, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg doesn't see it that way.

"We see purchase intent well above last year and we see engagement with the brand in social media channels all being markedly up, so I'm still optimistic," Hirshberg told GamesIndustry International.

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Hirshberg also pointed out that many analyst sales estimates for Advanced Warfare were based on preorders for physical versions of the game. Due to the growing popularity of digitally delivered content, measuring pre-release purchase intent using preorders of physical games alone might not be the best way to go about it, Hirshberg said.

"Preorders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product," he explained. "[They] don't represent what they used to--because of the move to digital and all the ways people can buy the game."

Also in the interview, Hirshberg revealed the message he gave to Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games at the onset of development. In short, he wanted the team to take risks and push things forward. "Our brief to them was: Go further than you think we want you to go. Make us nervous in a good way--and come back with new ideas and new experiences ... and they did," Hirshberg said.

Finally, Hirshberg addressed Sledgehammer's canceled third-person Call of Duty game, which was in development under the codename Fog of War. Though there are no plans to bring this game back to life, Hirshberg said it's a title that "I want to play some day."

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