indisputably the biggest series of the last console generation, just a few years ago it seemed that Call of Duty might never be usurped from its position as king of the fall release schedule. However, sales of critical responses to last year’s Ghosts hinted that its crown might be slipping — and now it seems that Advanced Warfare might continue that downward trend.
A new report by research firm Sterne Agee suggests that Advanced Warfare will ship 15% fewer copies in Q4 of 2014 than its predecessor did last year. That figure would be in the region of 3 million units, no small amount considering that Ghosts was itself millions short of the sales accomplished by Black Ops II the year prior.
There’s no one reason for the diminishing sales of the series. Franchise fatigue will have played its part, something that developers Sledgehammer Games have been working hard to address for Advanced Warfare. However, there’s also the fact that much of the game’s audience find themselves between generations, buying less games for the now-outdated PS3 and Xbox 360 but yet to purchase a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.
Last year, Ghosts was met with a fairly limp response critically as well as commercially. In response to a campaign that many thought was lacking originality, there’s been a clear effort to make Advanced Warfare a bona fide leap forward for the series; the exosuit looks set to offer players a host of new gameplay possibilities, and the last-gen versions of the game have been outsourced to High Moon Studios so that its current-gen iterations can get the attention that they deserve.
Everything about Advanced Warfare suggests that it is a comprehensive attempt to reassert the relevance of a series that was beginning to show its age — and, as such, the fact that its projected to undersell could spell doom for the series going forward. And, with everything set for this new installment to be the best the franchise has seen in a while, that’s a real shame.
In the end, it will come down to the quality of the game itself; Arvind Bhatia of Sterne Agee does acknowledge that good word of mouth could still save Advanced Warfare yet. From what we’ve seen so far, this could well be the case — a strong finished product might just give the franchise the shot in the arm that it needs.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is set for release on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC on November 4, 2014.
Source: Cinema Blend