Black Ops 2 sees 14% sales decline compared to Modern Warfare 3

Monday, 10th December 2012 10:06 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 may have netted Activision a cool $1 billion in its first 15 days on sale, but a new report suggests that the game is currently generating 14% less profit than Modern Warfare 3 did this time last year. Get the details below.

Gamasutra reports that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has sold 4.5 million copies on Xbox 360 and 2.9 million copies on PS3 since its November 13th launch, making a combined total of 7.4 million units. However, Modern Warfare 3 sold a combined 8.8 million units by the same time last year – equating to a drop of 14%.

MCV adds that Longbow Research analyst James Hardiman chipped in on the matter, stating that Activision’s $1billion sales announcement was perhaps rather hasty.

“We do not believe that Activision did itself any favours by putting out a press release touting that Black Ops II had crossed $1bn in just 15 days,” he stated, “faster than the 16 days required for Modern Warfare 3 to reach the $1bn mark.

“What management did not mention is the fact that with an earlier release date, Modern Warfare 3 was able to reach $1bn a day before Thanksgiving, whereas Black Ops II was not able to get there until after Cyber Monday.”

What’s your view? Has decline set in now? Did the future setting put people off? What can be done to reverse the slide, if anything? Let us know what you think below.



  1. alimokrane

    About time people start using their brains….

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dragon246

    Exactly! That is why I thought the nos. published by acti were fishy.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @1 Why? Instead of buying a game they enjoy? No one’s forcing them to buy into the series. They buy the games because they enjoy them, myself included.

    Really don’t understand the hate CoD gets, I really don’t.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet


    It’s probably geared more towards Activision and the way they’ve changed gamings business model.

    Good games have been cancelled or forever changed (tacked on multiplayer etc…), all in the name of chasing COD’s tail.

    And that IS a bad thing for the industry.

    You could say, ‘we’ll its not COD / Acti’s fault, other devs don’t have to copy that model’,

    But, we all know, that’s not how boardroom meetings go.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dave Cook

    @4 yeah that practice is shite don’t get me wrong :)

    But Treyarch didn’t close anyone down. Those guys deserve the success for delivering a game of that quality in just two years. That’s just my thoughts of course.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. FabioPal

    You keep on forgetting that publishers produce games to make money.

    CoD does make money, people does buy it not just because they’re told to, but even because they genuinely like it.

    Is there a decline? yes, Battlefield is a strong competitor, and the paradigma is shifting: more and more F2P games are in the market and they’re enough to give a lot of people their “FPS fix”.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @6 +1

    #7 2 years ago
  8. monkeygourmet


    They’ve had a lot of practice! ;)

    But yeah, I like a bit of COD now and again and I can respect how polished the series is. BLOPS 2 itself is an amazing package overall, full Zombie mode etc…

    Best value game out there along with Halo 4.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. CyberMarco

    What about Wii-U and PC copies?

    #9 2 years ago
  10. RoyBrown


    It’s an average game at best if you ask me.

    Most reviewers are also too scared to give honest reviews or they will lose advertising and in term hits for their website.

    Black Ops 2 Metacritic score average where reviews are released on or before Nov 13th.


    Black Ops 2 Metacritic score average where reviews are released on or after Nov 14th.


    In other words, people who actually played the game online for more than 1 day, or weren’t wearing a gag with Activision written on it, didn’t like it as much.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Dave Cook

    @10 “Most reviewers are also too scared to give honest reviews or they will lose advertising and in term hits for their website.”

    Absolutely untrue in 99% of circumstances. I’ve been doing this for six years. Trust me.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. RoyBrown


    I know people who run review websites, who have quite literally been told by publishers, that if they give *another one* of their games a bad review like they have in the past, they will lose access to the following.

    Promotional versions of games and demo’s of their games. In other words, no early previews or early reviews, that help generate exclusive content for the website and then all their information is released late, in return the website loses hits. Merchandise and invites to events. Access to employees for interviews. Website revenue paid for by the publisher in the form of advertising.

    Dave I respect this website but this shit happens, not 1% of the time, but fucking almost 100% of the time, to upstart websites that are just beginning to do well, publishers can just squash them out, and stop them from ever becoming established.

    Many big websites can get away with an honest review here or there unscathed however your head would have to be buried in the fucking sand, if you want to pretend this doesn’t happen. Websites like IGN barely even write reviews anymore, they actually just read like a giant over excited preview. Especially when it’s a high score released “exclusively” early before launch.

    There are a lot of executives and employees at companies who are given bonuses based purely on metacritic score.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Dave Cook

    @12 “but fucking almost 100% of the time,”

    Sorry man, I’m honestly not trying to be a dick here, but that’s still not accurate :(

    I could give you a ton of alternative reasons as to why this sort of thing happens that I know of, but advertising spend isn’t one of them, seriously.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. RoyBrown


    Dave is VG your primary form of work and if so, what else other than advertising generates money for your website?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Dave Cook

    @14 Yeah this is a full time job. That’s besides the point though man. As we don’t give coverage or scores for our adverts. Most sites don’t. It’s true in the case of magazine covers – which do generate a lot of money for companies – but in terms of website ads, I’ve rarely heard of cash for coverage scenarios personally. I have to stress the ‘personally’ of course because it must happen somewhere at some time.

    The way publishers decide where to give adverts is predominantly traffic based. It’s as simple as them having a list of sites by their unique users, and giving the best ads to those at the top. That’s how I’ve heard it works, rather than scores/coverage.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ManuOtaku

    I been playing COD since number 2, and in multiplayer this is the most fun game iam having with the series, in previous games i tried everything to success in the game, at least to play good and help my teammates, but i did suck, my k/d ratio and assist numbers were bad, now in with this game i have a lot of assist, almost a third of my total kills, and my ratio is 1.04 and increasing, it did started at 0.74.

    But this is not the reason iam having fun, it is because playing smart and with strategy is really helping me, in previous COD this wasnt the case, it always get down to quick reflexes and that was all, i didnt have those skills, but now iam very capable on my own, and this without using any hiding perks, therefore in my eyes this is not the same call of duty of the previous games, i know i didnt change, the game did change allowing not only quick reflexes to succeed, but carefull planing and being smart; also the personalization of the perks and weapons with the 10 ticket is an smart idea IMHO, that balance the game even more, it allows multiple play styles into the game.

    Like i said this is the first COD that iam having fun, and is the first one that i see a lot of changes to allow everyone to be good with their particular style, even if it is not COD style.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. RoyBrown


    Dave I read this website every damn day, I’m not having a shot at you guys here so don’t worry I know you don’t do scores. Scores are maybe the most god damn irrelevant thing I can think of in relation to an experience with a game and it begs the question as to why people who review games even feel the need to vindicate their article with an exclamation mark at the end of it called a score.

    Anyway, my rant got a bit out of hand, it’s obviously not 100% of start ups but I know it happens and as far as I’m concerned it happens too much.

    As long as you don’t hire Brian Ashcraft who does nothing but talk about Japanese lady boys I will continue to read this website.

    I’ve just started going through the games on metacritic, thinking of doing an article on it, and it’s making me angry how all the heavily advertised big publisher titles seem to avalanche down hill in regards to score after the release date.

    What are your alternate reasons?

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Dave Cook

    @17 Oh I know man seriously, I understand you weren’t having a go. I wasn’t either. Just relaying what I’ve seen and heard around the scene :)

    I agree on scores. I’m so thankful I don’t have to score games any more. It stops editors disagreeing with me for one. Used to hate fighting over scores as they were my own damn opinion. Hate it when people try to convince me to change them.

    On the alternate reasons thing, I’d rather not say at this time if that’s OK? Sounds like a cop out, but I’m still laying low after the whole Doritosgate thing (for want of a better moniker).

    It may be a tale for another day however :)

    Thanks for reading and discussing man, I love having chats with folk on our comment threads.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. RoyBrown

    That’s fair enough….

    Now that you have said it though, you have to tell me what Doritosgate is?


    Good chat :)

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Dave Cook

    @19 Oh god :P I thought it was common knowledge. Google it and you’ll see what it is.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Dragon246

    Thats a taboo. How dare you ask about that :P ?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. RoyBrown

    Fucking hell Dave what is this? Where was I when this happened?

    *Get’s popcorn*

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Dave Cook

    @22 yeah, fun eh :P Pat wrote a piece about it on here too, which led to our – frankly rather ace – new editorial guidelines. Proud to be following them as rigidly as I am.

    #23 2 years ago

    I suppose Treyarch might take all this as a huge compliment, as people seem to have completely forgotten that their games have always sold less than IW’s.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. ManuOtaku

    #24 Agree GIGA, but i think with this game they did surpass IW work IMHO, well comparing it with MW3, that is.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Dragon246

    I frankly like Treyarch games than IW ones. But I only play cod singleplayer (I am not interested in mp at all), so I cant say that about mp. But Ts sp is definitely better than IWs.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. polygem

    i always liked the treyarch games. blops one was one of my favourite cod´s. i think treyarch deserves credit for their take on cod with blops.

    regarding mp: i was doing pretty decent in blops 1 with a stable 1.5ish K/D, winning most matches or getting a top 3 position a lot. loved that game. i sucked this far in blops 2 (360). having a 0.9ish k/d!!! (i blame it on skipping mw3 and not being well trained anymore)
    now i bought it for wii u and my k/d is going back up, 1.4ish atm…not that i´d care tooooo much about that but yeah. in cod this stuff kinda counts ;)

    i think #6 is spot on.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. ASBI

    the sales of a sequel is sometimes affected by its predecessor

    mw2 was aswsome > blops sold more.
    mw3 was somewhat dissappointing > blops2 sold less

    #28 2 years ago

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