Pre-orders for Call of Duty: Ghosts are down compared to last year’s Black Ops II, Activision has admitted.
It would be easy (and quite possibly wrong) to label this as the beginning of Call of Duty’s decline. Indeed, former EA man John Riccitiello would likely toe that line.
However, Activision has blamed the uncertainties surrounded the transition from current to next-gen.
"As one might expect in this console transition year, pre-orders for Call of Duty: Ghosts are well below the record-setting pace set by Call of Duty: Black Ops II last year,” Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg told investors, as reported by Seeking Alpha.
However, our quantitative consumer research indicates that hesitation amongst past club pre-orders is primarily due to not knowing which platform they will be playing on, which is natural at this time in the console transition.
It’s worth mentioning that Ghosts pre-orders are over double those of Call of Duty: Black Ops, which is the last time we launched a new sub-brand for the franchise. It’s also worth mentioning that our other key engagement metrics from the number of people playing per month to the number of people playing daily to DLC sales, to video views, to community engagement are all significantly ahead of past years.
We also have in place the most aggressive marketing retail and digital programs in the history of the franchise. We’ve made substantial investments to make Ghosts a showcase for the next-gen consoles and also the best current-gen Call of Duty title ever.”
Activision isn’t alone in attributing blame for low pre-orders on the next-gen. EA last month blamed the same phenomenon on a decrease in pre-orders of its EA Sports titles.