Call of Duty: Black Ops will not outshine the record-breaking performance of its predecessor Modern Warfare 2, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter.
Last month Activision’s general manager for Call of Duty in Europe Michaël Sportouch told MCV: “We’ve a fantastic game and a fantastic marketing campaign so our ambition is to set another record like we did with Modern Warfare 2.”
Treyarch has also voiced similar ambitions. And it’s not just the makers of the game making big claims, either. Earlier this month GameStop reported that it had received record pre-orders for Black Ops.
“I don't think that Black Ops will be the best selling Call of Duty game,” Pachter told Industry Gamers. “I think that Black Ops has a lot of good things going for it, and a few challenges.
“The good things are that it's a clearly beautiful game, the setting is fresh, and the developer has gotten better review scores on each iteration. The challenge is that Treyarch is called the ‘other’ Call of Duty developer for a reason; the top review scores for the franchise on gamerankings.com are held by Infinity Ward games.
“I don't know whether the gaming press will suddenly become more charitable than they have in the past, but my read on them as a group is that they are a hypercritical and bitter lot, and I think that they have the potential to find many things wrong with Black Ops, chief among them that the game is not Modern Warfare 2.”
Pachter goes on to add that the first person shooter and action genres are quite competitive this year, with lots of titles vying for cash in what remains a hostile retail environment.
“Competition is quite fierce this holiday, with competitive games like Halo Reach, Medal of Honor and Vanquish all in the marketplace, and anyone who buys one of those games will have $60 less to spend on other shooter games,” he added.
“Thus, I must conclude that Black Ops won't sell as well as Modern Warfare 2, but I do think that the Call of Duty franchise will continue to sell very well.”