Analyst: Diablo 3 will sell 5 million in year one

On the heels of the Diablo III release date announcement, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz has come out to predict the game will sell five million units in its first year of availability.

"Our street-high FY12 EPS estimate of $1.05 assumes first year unit sell-through of 5MM for Diablo III, and assumes that over 1MM of the units incorporate the World of Warcraft ‘annual pass’ deal which allows WoW players who commit to a one-year subscription to receive Diablo III for free," Creutz said in a statement published by CVG.

Earlier today, Activision Blizzard announced a May 15th release date for the highly anticipated action RPG. The first two Diablo games in the series (along with their expansions) have sold over 20 million units to date.

Creutz went on to discuss some projections regarding a few other Activision Blizzard franchises.

"We also expect Call of Duty to maintain its dominating FPS leadership position, and we believe that the company has a great opportunity to build on its initial success of its Skylanders franchise. Finally, World of Warcraft Western subs continue to appear to be stable vs. year-end levels. We think ATVI shares can outperform the market by 20% over the next 12 months."

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