Analyst thinks Battlefield 3 will steal MW3 players

Activision’s decision to introduce a part-premium online service for the next Call of Duty will cause a small number” of players to defect to EA’s rival shooter Battlefield 3.

That’s the prediction of Michael Pachter who reckons that EA’s game is in line to smash previous sales records for the Battlefield series.

"We expect EA’s game to perform exceedingly well, eclipsing the 6.5m units sold by the last iteration,” he told investors. We think that Activision’s introduction of Call of Duty Elite (its premium subscription service) could cause a small number of loyal Call of Duty players to defect to EA’s game.”

However, that’s not to say Modern Warfare 3 won’t be a success. Indeed, Pachter thinks it will better even the world-record sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

"While we think that Activision’s 2011 Call of Duty sales have the potential to eclipse last year’s mind-boggling 20m units, due primarily to the network effect created by the game’s remarkable 17million weekly active unique online players,” he added.

We think that the company’s shares may come under pressure when EA’s game is launched, particularly if Battlefield 3 receives a 90+ Metacritic score."

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