Activision believes Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare could still outsell Ghosts

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare could yet outsell its predecessor Ghosts, the CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg has said.

Games Industry reports that Hirshberg claims that the publisher’s internal metrics show that purchase intent [is] well above last year” and that engagement with the brand in social media channels [is] markedly up”.

I’m still optimistic,” he said before going on to downplay the importance of pre-orders – which is perhaps not a surprise as the game’s pre-orders are trending downwards.

"Pre-orders are a good barometer for day one, but I don’t think they reflect the overall demand for the product. [They] don’t represent what they used to – because of the move to digital and all the ways people can buy the game."

Hirshberg also highlighted the added challenge of what he would argue is the on-going transition from last-gen to current-gen consoles.

"Console transitions are hard to manage for companies like ours," he claimed. "But if you have to have a set of problems, I’d rather have those problems be that adoption is going faster than expected and [older] software is dropping faster than expected, because that points to the future."

Analysts have previously been less optimistic about Advanced Warfare’s market chances.

In September Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia predicted that the game would sell 15 per cent fewer units than Ghosts. Then last month Cowen and Company went as far as to say that sales could fall as much as 40 per cent behind Ghosts and 70 per cent behind 2012’s Black Ops 2.

Activision’s approach to the game has shown some signs of change from years past. It staggered the launch across two days, releasing the Day Zero edition at midnight on Sunday night and then the regular edition at midnight last night.

There was also no big extravagant press launch event, although some celebrities were gathered for a Twitch stream.

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