Those are the words of Arvind Bhatia, analyst for Sterne Agee, picked up by GI.
“Our checks show initial sales of CoD: Black Ops II at some retailers were down as much as 20 percent,” he says.
“Subsequently, it appears sales of CoD did pick up a bit over the Thanksgiving holiday. We think the current sales curve suggests CoD: Black Ops II unit sales in its first year could ultimately be down 10 percent to 15 percent year-over-year.”
Bhatia goes on to say that, if he’s right, this would be the second year in a row the series has seen units decline, with Modern Warfare 3 down (an estimated) 5% over the first Black Ops.
“We estimate CoD generates 40 percent to 45 percent of the company’s EBIT on an annual basis and it goes without saying that weakness in this franchise is a cause for concern,” he added.
The analyst points to three possible reasons for this downturn. The first suggests the lower review scores might be to blame, impacting “initial sell-through”; the second is that the game released just after Halo 4; and the third is the Thanksgiving effect, where US buyers would have likely waited out for a Black Friday deal.
Activision are likely to face competition next year in the form of another Battlefield game.