Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said in a industry note that pre-orders for Battlefield 3 have hit the 1.5 million mark.
Last week, during the Citi 2011 Tech Conference Electronic Arts CFO Eric Brown revealed Battlefield 3 pre-orders had hit around the 1.25 million mark, and were tracking ahead of previous Battlefield installments. Bhatia said today, the figure has hit 1.5 million.
“Management remains optimistic that the title has potential to exceed sales of its predecessor, which has sold through 9.5 million units life-to-date,” he said. “Critical ratings for BF3 should be at least 80. The combined marketing dollars for BF3 and Call of Duty: MW 3 could reach $100 million this year.
“The two week head start for BF3 versus CoD will facilitate a big launch for BF3. Once CoD launches, there would be a natural slowdown in sales of BF3. Then, at holiday, momentum for BF3 should rebuild.”
Bhatia expects the game to have a “long tail,” as DLC hits post release, noting the Back to Karkland map included with the pre-order as a big incentive.
“This $15 to $20 value should be a big incentive for customers to pre-order BF3,” he said. “The mix of BF3 should be 60 percent US and 40 percent international.”