Combined Xbox 360 and PS3 sales puts Modern Warfare 3 at 8.8 million copies sold during its launch month, while Black Ops 2 managed just 7.4 million. This is the blockbuster series' first decline.
This would confirm talk of the first-person shooter losing its appeal. Longbow Research analyst James Hardiman believes it was a mistake to mention '$1bn in 15 days'.
"We do not believe that Activision did itself any favours by putting out a press release touting that Black Ops II had crossed $1bn in just 15 days,” stated Hardiman , “faster than the 16 days required for Modern Warfare 3 to reach the $1bn mark." Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 moved 4.5 million on Xbox 360 and 2.9 million on PS3.
"What management did not mention is the fact that with an earlier release date, Modern Warfare 3 was able to reach $1bn a day before Thanksgiving, whereas Black Ops II was not able to get there until after Cyber Monday.”
However, analyst Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company urged caution for those looking to draw a definitive conclusion from these sales figures as Black Ops 2 only had 12 days during its launch month, compared to Modern Warfare 3's 14. Working through the time differential, Black Ops 2 would arguably be down just 11%.
The percentage split between Xbox 360 and PS3 remains the same as the original Black Ops.