Few franchises can generate as much profit and ignite so much controversy as Call of Duty, yet recent industry activity reports have proven that even a behemoth such as COD can still have its vulnerabilities.
Analysts previously predicted that Modern Warfare 3 would mark a lag in COD sales, and those predictions have proven to be true. While exact sales figures have not been made public by publisher Acitvision, reports are coming in from multiple sources that peg Modern Warfare 2 sales below those of Black Ops around the same time last year. Analysts at Macquarie Equities are claiming a gap of about 4.2% when comparing Black Ops sales in 2011 with Modern Warfare 3 numbers. It might come as a surprise, considering how well the latest Call of Duty performed at launch, selling over 6.5 million units in a single day.
In March, NPD placed Modern Warfare 3 eighth on North America's top 10 sellers' list, and sales were reportedly less than half the amount Black Ops sold around this time in 2011.
Not that any of this spells immediate doom for the COD franchise. During the previous fiscal quarter, 34% of Activision's revenue came from Call of Duty, with digital sales and ELITE premium subscriptions bringing in a good percentage of the profits.