With tomorrow's release of Call of Duty: Black Ops, it's a safe bet that Activision is going to have their biggest day this year as far as sales are concerned. Despite high anticipation from gamers around the globe, Activision seems to be quite reserved in their own personal sales forecasts. In fact, the publishing giant actually expects Black Ops sales to trail behind Modern Warfare 2's by 20%.
In reviewing Activision's latest financial guidance, analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen & Company uncovered their somewhat surprising sales predictions. Although Mr. Creutz himself believes that Black Ops will only sell about 10% less than last year'ss entry from Infinity Ward, he explains that Activision has:
"...an assumption that the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops comps negatively against last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, despite the fact that on several pre-release metrics cited by management Black Ops is tracking ahead of MW2."
"We think management is taking a more conservative stance for guidance purposes. We think management's guidance implies Black Ops units down roughly 20% vs. MW2."
That's not to say Activision CEO Bobby Kotick isn't predicting big things for Treyarch's latest. Only time will tell if Black Ops bests Modern Warfare 2's sales records, but in the meantime Kotick is predicting Black Ops to take the title of biggest entertainment launch ever -- and for good reason. Video game retailer GameStop has already deemed Black Ops as having the biggest midnight launch in history.
A release that's filled to the brim with new features and game modes, Black Ops is poised to be the best Call of Duty title yet. With everything that Treyarch has added, the thought of not exceeding Modern Warfare 2 sales seems almost foolish. Given that some are willing to hold clerks at gunpoint for early copies, and Kobe Bryant recently promoting the game, Black Ops certainly has to break sales records, right?
Do you foresee Black Ops selling better than Modern Warfare 2, or is Activision wise in keeping reserved expectations? Are any Ranters out there going to a midnight sale for Call of Duty: Black Ops? Which version are you picking up, and why? You know what to do, hit us up in the comments below.
Call of Duty: Black Ops release November 9th, 2010 on PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Nintendo DS