With Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare now officially out for all to enjoy it's only a matter of time before Activision comes forward with some form of sales numbers. In past years, the publisher has used every sales number under the sun to try to give gamers the impression that Call of Duty is still #1, but as we saw last year the franchise's appeal is clearly waning.
Even so that's not halting Activision's optimism for Advanced Warfare, the first title developed under Sledgehammer Games. In fact, Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg believes that this year's game will outsell last year's COD: Ghosts.
According to Hirshberg, purchase intent for Advanced Warfare is "well above last year" and social media activity is higher than it is ever been. Obviously intent and social media interactions don't always translate into sales, but Hirshberg is "optimistic."
Pre-order numbers, on the other hand, suggest that Activision is looking at a disappointing run for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Across the board, Advanced Warfare is tracking well below Ghosts and even further below Black Ops 2.
But Hirshberg is quick to point out that pre-orders aren't what they once were. Digital sales have become a bigger part of the marketplace than ever before, and even those retailers that do accept pre-orders don't all report their numbers. That's all to say that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's pre-orders may be tracking below past games at one retailer, but that doesn't mean it won't end up selling well.
How well, however, is yet to be determined, and all signs prior to release pointed to Advanced Warfare continuing the franchise's steep decline. Then, reviews for Advanced Warfare started coming in and their overwhelmingly positive critiques of the game starting to change things a bit. Gamers seemed to become more interested in the title – more so than they were before – but it's unclear whether that interest will translate into increased sales.
For now it's a waiting game to find out if Call of Duty will see an uptick when compared to last year or if it keeps trending downward. Activision thinks one thing, but analysts say another. And only one group can be right.
Do you think that Advanced Warfare will sell better than past Call of Duty games? Will you pick up the game?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is out now for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.