Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will sell like hotcakes, but it won't achieve the same level of success as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Their opinions are chiefly based on two factors: this holiday will be crowded full of quality games, and new console hardware will be needed to drive Call of Duty sales further.
According to Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter, "I don't think Modern Warfare 3 is going to sell more than the last Black Ops, so I doubt that this one will break a record. I think that Call of Duty is a phenomenon, selling way more than 20 million units annually, and it's unrealistic to think that number can grow meaningfully with each annual release."
"I think games like Call of Duty need new console hardware - developers are working with 7-year-old technology in an environment when tablets and smart TVs will soon be just as powerful," Pachter added.
RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian thinks Halo 4 and other titles will derail Black Ops 2 sales. "We are forecasting Black Ops 2 to sell roughly the same number of copies as Modern Warfare 2 in 2011," he predicted.
He added, "Overall, I think games like Call of Duty need new console hardware - developers are working with 7-year-old technology in an environment when tablets and smart TVs will soon be just as powerful."
"The entire HD market is very soft at the moment, and it is understandable that retailers, publishers, and analysts are likely to be conservative on any Black Ops II forecast. Whether Black Ops II sets any records this year will depend entirely upon the overall engagement of HD consumers, which is largely out of the control of Activision and Treyarch," EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich proclaimed.
However, M2 Research's Billy Pidgeon thinks Black Ops 2 can break records. "Call of Duty should continue to do very well and is likely to continue to break records as it will sell into a larger installed base of consoles," he stated. "I think other big hits will also continue to perform strongly until we get into the console transition and enthusiast spending begins to shift towards hardware again."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 preorder sales in the first 24 hours of availability over the original Black Ops.