Recruitment is going very well for EA's blockbuster shooter, according to reconnaissance by research firm Sterne Agee.
Arvind Bhatia, one of the company's analysts, revealed that the publisher is reporting pre-orders in excess of 1.5m for Battlefield 3. Industry Gamers reports that Bhatia believes this is due in part to the map pack incentive offered by retail partners.
"Management remains optimistic that the title has potential to exceed sales of its predecessor, which has old through 9.5m units life-to-date," he said.
"Critical ratings for BF3 should be at least 80. The combined marketing dollars for BF3 and Call of Duty: MW3 could reach $100m this year.
"The two-week head start for BF3 versus CoD will facilitate a big launch for BF3. Once CoD launches, there would be a natural slowdown in sales of BF3. Then, at holiday, momentum for BF3 should rebuild."
He added that Sterne Agee expects Battlefield 3 to have a "long tail" thanks to future DLC, and that the US will account for 60 per cent of the game's sales.