With sheer dominance in the gaming market for the last few years, the Call of Duty franchise had no problem taking in most of the yearly revenue the industry made. Coming into another year of big titles releasing to the public, some analysts believe the Call of Duty franchise has hit its’ peak in sales and is on a downward trajectory of sorts.
While speaking to GamesIndustry International, Macquarie Securities‘ Ben Schachter said they have “significant concerns that CoD may have peaked in 2011.” He notes the sales catch-up Modern Warfare 3 is playing with 2010 title Black Ops and the decrease in hardware sales makes “the genre seem tired.” Another point the analyst made, was the creative direction Treyarch have taken with upcoming shooter Black Ops II, saying the futuristic setting might not appeal to everyone and could ultimately be its downfall.
He isn’t the only analyst to voice their concerns over the series decline however. Wedbush Securities’ Michael Pachter believes the franchise achieving 25 million sales annually in the future is “unprecedented”. “Call of Duty 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. Next year, another Battlefield plus the Respawn and Bungie games probably cannibalize it a bit more” said Pachter. “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.”
Until Black Ops II hits shelves in November, it won’t be clear what state the Call of Duty franchise will be in. It may not crack the records it is so used to cracking, but it will still make a good showing in sales otherwise. Make sure to stay tuned during the day for news from the Black Ops II multiplayer reveal and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.