Some analysts “concerned” CoD has peaked at retail

Saturday, 4th August 2012 21:36 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Analysts have started chatting about Call of Duty, what with Black Ops 2 readying for a fall release, and while many seem to think the brand has peaked, Blops 2 will still sell millions upon release.

Speaking with GI International following Activision Blizzard’s Q2 call to investors, analyst Ben Schachter of Macquarie Securities, said the firm has “significant concerns that CoD may have peaked in 2011,” and for various reasons.

Schachter cited industry sales declines, currency fluctuations, Modern Warfare 3′s sales being slightly below Black Ops, and other reasons.

Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities agreed with Schachter, stating that since annual sales at a 25 million level “are unprecedented,” and that growth in online multiplayer is what initially fueled CoD sales.

“[CoD] was (and probably still is) the best multiplayer experience available, [but] Battlefield multiplayer probably cannibalized it a little bit, and this year, Halo and Medal of Honor could cannibalize CoD a bit more,” Pachter said. “Next year, another Battlefield plus the Respawn and Bungie games probably cannibalize it a bit more.

“There’s nothing wrong with 22 million units sold, or with 19 million or 16 million. CoD will remain the best selling game (at least until GTA) and Activision shouldn’t be concerned if it loses some players at the margin. They created a phenomenon, and others are emulating them.”

Colin Sebastian of RW Baird is of the same opinion as well, noting Activision’s lower financial guidance assumes “Call of Duty is lower this year than last year,” which might have something to do with the current console market.

“Also, if new consoles are coming next year, that is typically a disruptive period for game sales, and that could drive sales lower as well, at least temporarily,” Sebastian continued. “The bigger question I think is whether the franchise (or any franchise) is in a continuous period of decline. Personally, I don’t know which competing console title would take so much share from Call of Duty.”

However, other analysts believe retail and consoles figures can no longer be used as the sole source of sales, as digital and PC sales need to be taken into account as well as the declining retail market overall.

Plus, CoD Online launching in China will provide a new source of revenue for the firm.

You can read the entire thing through the link.



  1. stretch215

    I think blops 2 looks great, but I agree that the sales will probably be a little lower than mw3. I also feel the new consoles will shake up the Fps genre (hopefully). It’ll be interesting to see how the cod vs. battlefield war plays out next gen.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Razor

    I don’t know.

    Every time they say CoD has peaked, it destroys more records. Sure it’ll peak eventually, but I suspect it’s more likely to be when we get to that transition of new consoles.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Moonwalker1982

    Black Ops 2 looks great? In what way exactly…? Cause it’s been the same goddamn game since…well….Xbox 360′s launch and COD 2 came out? Used to be great games, but after MW1 they started to ruin it. And for me it resulted in being beyond tired of everything CoD. I don’t think i’ll ever buy one again.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet


    Don’t think? Dare we check your gamer tag after Black Ops 2 launch?! ;)

    I always dislike COD but am a sucker for there single player ‘quick fix’ action campaigns! ;)

    Must admit I preferred the cold war setting in the previous game though… I felt they could have got at least another story ark out of that, then moved future combat to next gen….

    Would have been a better selling point shirley…

    #4 2 years ago

    New Black Ops 2 multiplayer trailer due on Tuesday.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. stretch215

    @3 It’s called an opinion. Genius.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Mineral4r7s

    @6 and he obviously stated HIS opinion. Genius.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. viralshag

    They’ve changed the setting enough to warrant a purchase from me…

    #8 2 years ago
  9. mreko3230

    First of all- Black Ops 2 will beat MW3 in sales (Look, I’m an “expert!”)- Secondly, I think the future of the franchise will depend on how much real change they have made to BLOPS 2 multi-player.

    Treyarch has stated that they have re-imagined the game and have built the load-outs and perks from the ground up. I’m curious to see just how true that is.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dimaco

    @6+7 Ok, you can be a fan of CoD and anything (personally I am not, they kept on milking the franchise at the point that I couldn’t stand it after MW2 – which was kinda good, tbh), and both are opinions.
    But sure as hell you can’t say that blops looks GREAT.
    As Moonwalker states, they’ve been using the same engine since freaking MW1, and it just doesn’t make the trick, anymore.
    Look at them explosions!

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Mineral4r7s

    @10 hey hey hey now you mix something up here.

    I am a CoD Hater, well I am not a CoD Hater but I am a hater of all bad games and CoD is such a game so I hate it.

    Read my comment again before you throw me into the same pit as those CoD Sheep.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OrbitMonkey

    ^ I dislike Mini-Chedders (their a snack biscuit). I could try to find a comments thread about them and start bashing them and the peeps who eat them… But that would be stupid.

    #12 2 years ago

    You leave Mini-Cheddars out of this, you!

    Everyone knows that Mini-Ceddars are better than Hobnobs!

    Except all those Hobnob sheep, that is… but they have no taste, anyway.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. DSB

    I’m pretty much convinced that if it ain’t Zampella and West, I’m not interested, and I always thought of MW3 as the peak.

    No matter what all the h8ers might tell themselves, there are a lot of reasons why people play CoD for a hundred plus hours every year, and I thought those reasons were lacking from MW3, and never there in Black Ops, so at least for me, that’s pretty much the end of the road.

    Considering that the competition are actually starting to catch up, I reckon it might just be time for a shift.

    @12 It would be insecure, which is usually how people end up using and reusing the word sheep as a cognitive bias. See mall goths for more examples.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    CoD has peaked at retail or not does not matter. Halo peaked with it’s 8 million userbase too so what?
    You can buy CoD as much as you want, it’s still is a mediocracy that never did something better than the first Call Of Duty in 2003. Pretty much if i will ask someone what CoD did better than a game in 2003 no one will answer.

    The only reason why it is popular on consoles because it was the first very well supported Running and gunning game with decent meta gaming on consoles with crazy overblown marketing campaign budget and it was the first modern military shooter after WWII shootfest that was on the PC/consoles. People never knew on consoles that Battlefield 1-2 or something else existed… for example Quake 3:Arena which is basically what Call Of Duty is just a bit faster and without Auto-precision.

    CoD series are a pile of shit in everything. There is absolutely nothing that i can call “Oh look, this one have a good gameplay mechanic” or “this one achieved some fantastic storytelling or technology”. Shooting mechanics is the only thing that feels right for a running and gunning game thanks to id Software’s engineering talent in 99 year and it looks ridiculously stupid for a military shooter at the same time, but people like that mechanic despite it’s setting.
    So far Call Of Duty tries to evolve it’s meta gaming system that was created by Vince and Jason and so far there is nothing that was successfull.

    also, to be honest there is no alternative to running and gunning genre to to be honest, although Tribes: Ascend did some good work on that. But i hope that one day iD will resurrect Quake 3:Arena in HD or guys from Epic will stop doing Gears Of War series and will return to Unreal. But whatever… Gaming has changed to mainstream.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Da Man

    running and gunning

    thanks to id Software’s engineering talent


    Sometimes I wonder how much of a hopeless idiot one must be to believe he can figure what’s demanding in a piece of software without knowing how to make Mario move on screen.

    But i hope that one day iD will resurrect Quake 3:Arena in HD
    Maybe I should try that piece of shit again, it’s available on Live Marketplace right now, in HD.. or perhaps try the 12 years old Dc version.

    But then it would really give me nothing but a headache.. a videogame from the ancient times when you could sell any tripe, and lifeless devotees would keep visiting your conferences to hear generic no shit Sherlock babbling for years after.. Same kind of nerdy zealots who kept telling themselves Epic’s Halo clone was good.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. stretch215

    @7&11 you are an idiot. @15 500 hours! Nuff said. Fucking hypocrite.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. stretch215

    Also@10 I’m not concerned with the engine’s age or how the explosions look. Go count pixels somewhere else (with erth-ass-us). Everybody is not a graphics whore. I wouldn’t give a shit if cod was in 16 bit, if the game play was the same, I’d play it.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Da Man

    Exactly, gaming became way too mainstream, it was all about gameplay back in the days. Now we have people who would be better off jerking to AMD tech demos while listening to anime soundtracks.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Moonwalker1982


    You can check my gamertag if you want, but you won’t see a COD game that came after the disastrous MW2 :). Oh i said MW1 was the last very good one, but i also enjoyed Black Ops, while it lasted though. I’m tired of the ridiculous fast gameplay which simply feels cheap to me now, especially compared to practically any shooter. And i’m so damn tired of the rehashing of pretty much everything.


    Treyarch indeed stated that, and then we saw the way too long gameplay video during MS’ E3 presser and we saw how everything was the same, i really didnt see anything special or new there.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. SplatteredHouse

    CoD’s like football: another one will come round next year, and if you already have one from the last couple you’ll still find it playable, so no point getting another one with a different coloured wrapper on it.

    #21 2 years ago

    I don’t know if #22 is trying to troll or not, but there’s truth in the comment.

    There are still tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people who still play older versions of CoD on a daily basis.

    I’ve been teaching teens over the summer break here, and I recently decided to ask one of my classes how many of them played CoD.

    Just about every single one of them raised their hand.

    Then they asked me which version. I was expecting them to all be playing MW3, but I was sort of surprised to see the huge variation between favourites in a single class.

    Some liked MW3, some Black Ops… One of them even said that he only liked MW2. In another class, I found a student who says that CoD4 is the best, and I believe he still plays it on a regular basis.

    The thing is that people are still playing these different versions in huge numbers.

    So forget sales. When the MAU begin to fall, then there’s something for Acti to be “concerned” about.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. drewbles82

    I won’t be picking up BO2 unless there are huge changes. The annoying thing is though, its always cheapest on day one of release, takes ages to come down in price.
    MW2 was my fav, had best single player esp since I hate infinite respawn, no skill in that at all. The MP maps were some of my favs like Terminal, scrapyard, Estate etc.
    If they had survival mode with all the maps from mw2, mw3 would be my fav.

    #23 2 years ago

    Well, you can play survival on Terminal right now…

    Surprised you say that you like Scrapyard and Estate, though, since they’re two of the most polar opposite maps you’re likely to find.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Dimaco

    @18 wait, I thought I was replying to that “looks great” comment…

    #25 2 years ago
  26. stretch215

    @26 leave it to a pixel counting nerd (you) to assume everyone is coming from their .perspective . Look at those explosions! Lol get a life, kid.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. polygem

    liked blops much more than mw3. i wanna play blops 2 on nintendo´s wiiu…that would feel fresh!

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Dimaco

    @27 ok then, go on telling that blops2 looks great. I ain’t making fun of you. I don’t need to, pal.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. OrbitMonkey

    @poly, lol, you frickin maniac!! Somebody please give this guy a new console, his pain is killing me (with laughter) :-P

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Erthazus

    @DaMan, ” it’s available on Live Marketplace right now, in HD.. ”

    in HD I want Quake 5.

    “Same kind of nerdy zealots who kept telling themselves Epic’s Halo clone was good.”

    Epic’s Halo clone existed before Halo even was in production. Nerdy Halo fanbots, Believe.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Da Man

    quote” i hope that one day iD will resurrect Quake 3:Arena in HD”

    quote“in HD I want Quake 5.”

    Me no understand.

    Ut 2k3 was influenced by Halo CE, with it’s vehicular combat, much like the original Ut was influenced by Halo’s predecessor, Marathon. Cold hard facts. I don’t need to believe here because it’s all right there, documented. Besides, Halo was indeed in production
    before 1999.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. polygem

    @30: i am playing through some gamecube games again atm…helps a lot.

    #32 2 years ago

    Metroid Prime on GC is one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. DSB

    Is one of those games Sega Soccer Slam, poly? I saw it on the American version of Xbox Live Marketplace, but for some buttfucked reason you can’t buy it for a European account.

    I need to get me a yankee 360.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Erthazus

    @32, “Me no understand.”

    you are an idiot than. I was not talking about the resolution. I said that i want a game in High Definition. A new one obv.

    “Ut 2k3 was influenced by Halo CE, with it’s vehicular combat, much like the original Ut was influenced by Halo’s predecessor, Marathon.”

    you are retarded. Unreal was influenced by Quake games since it’s first game and when the first game launched it was a direct competition to Quake 2.
    Unreal have nothing to do with Marathon except that they are both shooters. You can read it in Wiki about Unreal influence. There are hard facts without stupid fanboyish words that have nothing to do with U series or fanboyish facts at all.

    “Halo was indeed in production
    before 1999.”

    So? Unreal was released in 98.

    “Ut 2k3 was influenced by Halo CE, with it’s vehicular combat”

    Unreal tournament 2003 has no vehicles IDIOT! It had only one as a demo hidden in the files and it was a Bulldog.
    Unreal Tournament 2004 was the first game that had Onslaught mode that had enough vehicles to support the gameplay.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Da Man

    Of course I’m an idiot, Ertharage. I’m the one who spent almost three years in here and still couldn’t create a simple sentence.

    And similarly I’m ‘retarded’ for not being able to see that apparently a videogame called Unreal Tournament was influenced by one of the shooty shooty sci-fi multiplayer fps preceeding it (Quake) and wasn’t by another(Marathon), which came up with some of the multiplayer game types, like Crazy King (Domination).

    You should try and find some misplaced comma in my posts, that would allow you for more possibilities at being a dishonest nutcase. Even if you ignore the fact that I was clearly talking about Ut and not the pathetic single player Unreal, Halo started development at around 1998, obv before but anyway.

    2k3/2k4.. you massively, unbelievably idiotic person, I can’t be arsed which, because unlike you I don’t make my posts based on Wikipedia alone. And besides, that only further proves my point, and doesn’t change anything. 2k4 probably came out even after the second Halo.. You really are a moron.

    Try harder.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. JimFear-666

    i think they sayd the same thing for mw3, blackops1…

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Telepathic.Geometry

    Yeah, the music for Metroid Prime instantly transports me back to the time I first played that masterpiece. I still think it stands up really well to modern games…

    #38 2 years ago
  39. drewbles82

    @24 To me these games are best played against your actual friends you know and have met. My m8 had a nice set up, 3 large screens, 3 xboxs and 3 copies of mw2. It made it so much fun as no one could screen cheat, there were just the 3 of us so not over crowded. You could actually sneak about esp Estate and felt so much more rewarding that you took down your m8 rather than some 12yr old. We would play all the maps though that big snow one was a bit too big for 3. Those were my fav COD days, boring playing against strangers, I know what my friends tactics are. He moved away though and the other friend doesnt have a console, net or even a tv so all 3 of us playing anytime soon, unlikely.

    #39 2 years ago

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