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.