Online betting giant Paddy Power has backed Modern Warfare 2, Assassin's Creed II and FIFA 10 as mostly likely to snatch this year's Christmas No.1, MCV can reveal.
Activision's modern-day first person shooter is the runaway favourite to top the charts with odds of 13/8, while Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed II has odds of 9/4. Both titles also went to head-to-head for Christmas No.1 in 2007, with Call of Duty coming out on top.
Last year FIFA 09 took the top position over the Christmas week, but the title is third favourite in Paddy Power's listings with odds of 6/1.
A Paddy Power spokesperson told MCV: When the full weight of Activision's marketing machine kicks into gear we're in no doubt that Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will enjoy the lion's share of the games market this December.”
Halo 3: ODST, Guitar Hero 5, Need For Speed: Shift, Wii Fit Plus and, New Super Mario Bros. Wii all make Paddy Power's listing. However, the likes of Uncharted 2, The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks and DJ Hero miss out.
Publishers are already talking up their chances of securing the Christmas No.1 spot, with Sega hopeful its Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games (12/1) can pull off an upset.
There are only three games that can be Christmas No.1. Call of Duty, FIFA or Mario & Sonic. It is as simple as that,” said Sega UK's MD John Clark.
The price cuts on the other consoles could make that a slightly larger challenge for us, and Modern Warfare 2 will be huge. Will it be bigger than the last Modern Warfare? I think it probably will be. But we think it's achievable because the last Mario & Sonic achieved a 30 per cent attach rate on Wii and a DS attach rate of seven per cent. If we achieve even half of that, we'll be in with a chance.”
THE ODDS IN FULL:
Paddy Power's odds for the number one Christmas game this year make for interesting reading – with the big guns unsurprisingly out in front…
Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 13/8
Assassin's Creed II 9/4
FIFA 10 6/1
Halo 3: ODST 10/1
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games 12/1
Wii Fit Plus 14/1
New Super Mario Bros Wii 18/1
Need For Speed: Shift 18/1
Planet 51: The Game 20/1
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game 25/1
PES 2010 25/1
Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues 33/1
Left4Dead 2 33/1
Guitar Hero 5 33/1
The Saboteur 40/1
Ghostbusters: The Video Game 40/1
Tekken 6 50/1
Rogue Warrior 66/1
Brutal Legend 80/1
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack In Time 80/1
Saw: The Video Game 80/1
WWE Smackdown VS Raw 2010 100/1
Rabbids Go Home 100/1