Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has attacked what he’s called a “hypercritical and bitter press,” preempting a negative reaction to Black Ops based on the simple fact that it isn’t Modern Warfare 2.
“I don’t know whether the gaming press will suddenly become more charitable than they have in the past, but my read on them as a group is that they are a hypercritical and bitter lot, and I think that they have the potential to find many things wrong with Black Ops, chief among them that the game is not Modern Warfare 2,” he told IndustryGamers.
He continued: “A read through of the reviews on Medal of Honor will show you that the gaming press is just waiting to compare Black Ops to Modern Warfare 2, and although Black Ops looks phenomenal, I’m not sure it will get the benefit of the doubt.
“With that said, if the game gets a review score in the 90s, I think that the game has a chance to sell as well as Modern Warfare 2, due to a larger console installed base. However, competition is quite fierce this holiday, with competitive games like Halo Reach, Medal of Honor and Vanquish all in the marketplace, and anyone who buys one of those games will have $60 less to spend on other shooter games.
“Thus, I must conclude that Black Ops won’t sell as well as Modern Warfare 2, but I do think that the Call of Duty franchise will continue to sell very well.”
Pachter also pointed out that a Treyarch CoD game has never scored as highly as the Infinity Ward titles.
“The challenge is that Treyarch is called the ‘other’ Call of Duty developer for a reason; the top review scores for the franchise on gamerankings.com are held by Infinity Ward games, with Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, the original Call of Duty, and Call of Duty 2 each receiving average scores of 89 or higher,” he said.
“The best reviewed Call of Duty game from Treyarch (World at War) received an 85.7% score, while Call of Duty 3 got an 82 rating.”
Modern Warfare 2 has sold exceptionally well. It was the biggest PS3 game in the States last year, the biggest 360 game in the UK last year, and generated a cool $1 billion in revenue between its launch in November 2009 and January 2010 and was named the biggest-selling British game ever in August this year.
Call of Duty: Black Ops launches on November 9 for PS3, 360, PC, Wii and DS.