With the gaming world holding its collective breath in the lead-up to the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, several in the industry are already predicting just how many records the game will break. Having a profitable series that releases every year is one thing, but following one record-setting launch with another seems impossible. Impossible for anything other than Call of Duty, at least, according to industry analysts. Gamers may still be waiting patiently in line for midnight launches around the world, but those in the know have already done the math, and it is truly staggering.
It's already a foregone conclusion that Modern Warfare 3 will sell better than nearly any other game in history, but the sheer amount of money the game stands poised to make boggles the mind. It was only one year ago that Black Ops became the best selling game of all time, and with the newest release enjoying the buzz of both the 'Call of Duty' brand as well as 'Modern Warfare,' it seems the sky is the limit.
Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia is ready to predict that not only will Modern Warfare 3 out-perform any entry in the series to date, but that it will exceed the sales of most games in its first day:
"We expect MW3 to grow 10% versus last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops, which has sold through more than 25 million units life-to date. We expect 5.5M-6.0M unit sales of MW3 on day 1 and nearly 18M units in the December quarter"
Taking in $350 Million within the first 24 hours of release is no small feat, but the amount of power that the Call of Duty franchise seems to possess is starting to border on the ridiculous. It's not surprising that the series has come to mean so much to so many gamers, not only due to its definitive online multiplayer, but the fantastic moments in the series history as well. But as the saying goes, it ain't easy being King.
This monumental release will do more than earn money for Activision and Infinity Ward, as its success is sure to completely eclipse that of Battlefield 3. But with demand comes desperation, seen this weekend in the armed robbery of two trucks carrying copies of the game prior to release. It is somewhat poetic that the unmatched success of the Call of Duty franchise should make scenes from its narrative come to life, but it's clear that we haven't seen anything yet.
With these predictions perfectly reasonable, we have to ask just how this cycle will be broken, if ever. To find out, we need only wait until November of next year, when Activision may once again set a record that no other franchise could ever be thought capable of matching.
What do you think of the prediction? Will the day ever come when a Call of Duty title fails to match the sales of the previous year's game? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is available on November 8, for the Xbox 360, PC and PS3.
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