Modern Warfare 3 sales begin to lag, fall behind Black Ops

Monday, 16th April 2012 05:03 GMT By Matt Williams

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 may have set a new record for the biggest entertainment launch in history, but a decline in ongoing sales has caused the title to be overtaken in life-to-date sales for the same period by series’ predecessor Call of Duty: Black Ops.

According to analysts at Macquarie Equities, volume sales for Modern Warfare 3 are currently lagging behind Black Ops’ by around 4.2 percent. For the month of March, it is reported that the title sold less than half the amount that Black Ops sold at that time last year, although exact sales figures are unavailable to the public.

Modern Warfare 3 sold over 6.5 million units within 24 hours of its launch, while Black Ops sold approximately 5.6 million units on launch day.

Webush Securities analyst Michael Pachter states that the title’s poor performance in March could indicate that gamers are becoming more dependent upon new release and less inclined to purchase games post-launch.

Analysts at Piper Jaffray state that the numbers indicate a significant change in the buying habits of the casual market. It is their belief that less players are purchasing games at retail, and that more are using their consoles primarily for video streaming and other forms of media consumption.

Software sales have been down across the board, as seen in sales figures for both February and March.

Thanks, Kotaku and Gamasutra.



  1. SolidGamerSnake

    is this the downfall of the COD brand? The next iterations will certainly sell shitloads. But starting with the next one, they will have to deliver something new and I doubt coming up with new stuff like Elite will help them there.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    @1, nope. It’s just Battlefield 3 last year had an impact.

    Still, CoD will sell like beast even without any changes.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    There’s a decent chance BF3 is partly responsible. Purely anecdotal, but most of my xbox friends were pretty big into mw2, all of them bought Break Op’s and all of them traded it in for Dead Space 2 not long after but still own/play mw2, most of them got BF3 and only 1 that I know of bought mw3.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. DGOJG

    I also learned this new thing ; wait until nowish and buy them both for half the price.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. polygem

    blops is the better game imho, good you will see this in sales too now.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. aseddon130

    Modern Warfare is the superior brand for the series but i hope this goes to show that Activision have saturated this market WAY too much with Call Of Duty titles, i just pray that Black Ops 2 doesn’t do as well as this either so they can go back to the drawing board with the series and do something new and proper with it.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. The_Red

    Seeing how Black Ops was a million times better than MW3 in terms of singleplayer (Seriously, WTF was the campaign?), I hope Black Ops 2 can be as great as BO1 and make a ton of money just to show MW and the now dead IW how a decent set-piece heavy campaign is done.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. FeaturePreacher

    That Piper Jaffray idiot must have played too many phoney games. Cause he obviously has no clue on the difference between softcore and hardcore.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Gigabomber

    In terms of multiplayer, MW3 is miles better than black ops even with its problems. Of course, Crysis was more fun and had much less lag and fewer hit detection issues, so who really knows why people still play Call of Duty at all.

    #9 3 years ago

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