Black Ops 2 may sell less than Modern Warfare 3

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 might not be selling as well as its tremendously successful predecessors. Several indications, assembled by The Los Angeles Times, point to weaker returns from the near-future shooter for PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia estimated this week that sales may be down by 10 to 15 percent so far, prompting him to downgrade his recommendation for Activision's stock from a "buy" to a "neutral" or hold. Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said at a recent conference he understands Black Ops 2's sales are down, a symptom he ascribed to consumer exhaustion with the annualized franchise.

Activision released 5-day worldwide sales figures for the previous three games, though it declined to do so for this year's entry. It also listed worldwide day-one sales of $500 million as opposed to the previous standard of U.S. and U.K. numbers, making direct comparisons between the release windows difficult.

It's possible Halo 4 stole some of Black Ops 2's thunder. The Xbox exclusive launched the week before and, up until Black Ops 2, was the "biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year," according to corporate VP of Microsoft Studios Phil Spencer.

Too many figures are unknown or incompatible for anyone outside Activision to say with certainty whether Black Ops 2 reversed Call of Duty's remarkable growth. Fortunately for the publisher, the explosive success of the Skylanders series means Activision will not be without a golden goose either way.

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  • zombi3grim - November 30, 2012 1:15 p.m.

    They killed it with annualization, just like Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk. I think its time to bring Guitar Hero back though. I miss it!
  • obviouslyadouche - November 30, 2012 2:31 p.m.

    Buy one of the ones you didn't get I doubt you own every guitar hero/rockband game.
  • zombi3grim - November 30, 2012 9:08 p.m.

    No, I do. I even had the original Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s. The only ones I dont have are Rock Band Blitz and any of the mobile ones.
  • Z-man427 - November 30, 2012 1:17 p.m.

    That's kind of sad since, from my understanding, it was the first to deviate a little from the formula.
  • FordFiesta - November 30, 2012 1:20 p.m.

    That's actually not a bad thing. I'd rather see a complete reinvention of the franchise than another yearly release. Also the market is way to lopsided. I have friends that only buy call of duty the whole year and nothing else. The industry needs people to buy more than one game!
  • winner2 - November 30, 2012 2:07 p.m.

    I never expected sky landers to do this well. Oh the joy of collectibles I guess.
  • MasterBP - November 30, 2012 2:34 p.m.

    Can't say this news upsets me.
  • nintendo365 - November 30, 2012 2:53 p.m.

    I believe it. Compared to MW3, the multi player is worse. The spawns are worse than MW3,today alone I "materialized" in front of people about 3-4 times. Sniper Rifles are overpowered too, a semi-auto shouldnt be a one-shot in the leg. Shotguns are too accurate, you cant just hip fire them, you have to ads and be dead on if you want a one shot kill. And theres too many items that enable camping. The bouncing Betty is waaaaaaaaay stronger than it was in MW3, theres a target finding scope and another that lets you see through walls... And dont even get me started on the goddamn knife. I thought it was impossible in MW3 to knife, in BO2? Its MORE than impossible. Its like they gave up on the knife lunge. All in all, they tried too hard and made problems with MW3 a bit worse.
  • xx_CaPTiiN_SpAiiN_zz - November 30, 2012 3:22 p.m.

    you are a complete idiot bo2 is rubbish for camping which makes it a WORSE game fuck me...
  • avantguardian - November 30, 2012 7:52 p.m.

    i agree about the multiplayer being worse (so far). i disagree about balance, however, as i would say that's probably one of the game's strengths, along with the pick 10 and score streaks. what IS wrong is partially, like you said, the spawns, but really, two things are killing it for me. hardcore modes are a joke, in that they don't exist. in the review for this game i said the only way they could fuck it up is if they for some reason they got rid of hc domination. well... and the map a domination player, i'm sad to see so many levels that are 'I' shaped (making b dom super hard, so k/d assholes never try to help you, like on carbon or nuketown, and as it stands, i blame nuketown's ludicrous success for this...worst cod level ever!). seriously, i can't even think of one that's 'A' shaped, a la terminal, bootleg, hanoi, etc.
  • talleyXIV - November 30, 2012 10:58 p.m.

    Every CoD game including BO2 is miles ahead of MW3. If it ever hits a lowpoint like that again, I will be done with Infinity Ward's games forever. MW3 was an abomination to all that is good and holy in this world.
  • AuthorityFigure - November 30, 2012 4:24 p.m.

    They'll just decrease the development budget for the next one, and that's about all this news will do for CoD I believe.
  • Jacko415 - November 30, 2012 6:10 p.m.

    AAAAAW! Kotick can only by TWO Lamborghinis this year? The poor bastard.
  • jessicasherwood3 - November 30, 2012 10:24 p.m.

    up to I looked at the bank draft saying $8267, I didn't believe brother trully bringing home money part time online.. there aunt haz done this for under twenty months and by now paid for the mortgage on there villa and got a brand new Chevrolet. go to..www.Google.MEL7.CoM
  • Ectoman - December 1, 2012 2:44 a.m.

    COD sucks ass I really don't know why I brought blops2 such a waste of money but thank god for EBay, only lost £5 off face value so FarCry 3 is now in the post. The only way COD will ever get my money again is if it can truly compete with battlefield 3 for scope, graphics and down right awesomeness. Can't wait to download aftermath and play a true fps
  • SpiritTemple - December 2, 2012 5:23 a.m.

    Lol cry more, there's a reason more people play MW3 over BF3, just saying.
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  • gazzc - December 1, 2012 8:09 a.m.

    Well really what have you got? Each year they put out the same game they have done since the first modern warfare and just change a few things, the graphics get a bit nicer and the guns change, there is a few new levels and well... that is it really. The basic game mechanics remain exactly the same, which to be fair they are perfectly playable - but what was for sure a 9/10 game all those years back is extremely average by todays standards. It only takes a few minor changes and all the reviewers start throwing out the high scores year after year and of course it always sells extremely well but I do believe a large number of those sales are based on the name of the game and not the quality of the game. I would say it is still more than playable and can be good fun, but no more so than the original modern warfare game was and still is.
  • ObliqueZombie - December 1, 2012 8:16 a.m.

    Which sucks, because Blops II deserves it. MW3 was literally pure hype--talk about "rehashing" the same shit every year, well, MW3 was the epitome of that. Thanks, Sledgehammer, for making small maps suitable for nothing but SMGs and reusing every sound, music, and voice over all over again.

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