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What If Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 Doesn't Break Sales Records?

It hasn't been officially announced yet but given recent evidence, it seems inevitable that Activision will announce Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

But given the buzz surrounding the impending unveiling, I'm wondering if even the most hardcore fans are just a little apathetic about this new entry. When Modern Warfare 3 was revealed, the CoD fans went crazy. It was basically a 100% approval rating clear across the board, as far as I could tell. But now, even the most ardent followers are wondering if it's time for a new engine, if Treyarch should've tried something new...

And so, we arrive at a very interesting question- What if Black Ops 2 doesn't break sales records? MW2 set the sales bar...Black Ops set it again...MW3 did it yet again last year. The trend is obvious. But if the sales actually slide back a little and this year's effort does not top last year's in terms of sales, is that significant? Would that represent the beginning of a decline that might actually have a negative impact on the franchise? Nothing is immune to burnout; just look at Guitar Hero. It may not have been quite as shockingly popular but eventually, even the most hardcore get a little tired of the same ol', same ol'.

Therefore, the sales take for Black Ops 2 should be worth analyzing. It'll also be interesting to see if any other title this year - perhaps Grand Theft Auto V - can challenge it for sales dominance. Thus far, over the past three or four years, no game has been able to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with CoD. But things change...and they can change fast.

Tags: call of duty, black ops 2, black ops sequel, activision

3/12/2012 9:07:50 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (31 posts)

Gamer46
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 9:45:24 PM
Reply

Well, at some point people get tired of the same old same old, right? This gen has been full of so many FPS and with CoD's yearly release schedule at some point people are bound to get bored. There will come a day when sales for CoD start to drop, it happens with every franchise. I don't know if it'll be Black Ops 2 or one of the follwing games but at some point, probably in the near future, the series will stop resetting the bar each year. The thing is, the games sells so well that even if the franchise stops being the juggernaut it is now sales will still be great.

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godsman
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:31:59 PM

Activision is like a swarm of insects. Once they consume the corn field, they will move onto the next. They killed the Guitar Hero franchise, they will kill the COD, maybe they will buy out Grand Theft Auto and make it an annual release next.

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KingRed
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:59:17 PM

Godsman I guess you forgot they did try that before the last Grand Theft Auto came out. When they wanted to buy RockStar.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:51:30 AM

Ooh hell no! Activision stay way from RockStar! You hear me?

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NiteKrawler
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 3:49:38 AM

I thought EA was the one trying to buy R*.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:09:18 AM

Yeah, it was EA, and it was for the entirety of Take-Two, consisting of both the 2K and Rockstar sub-brands, not just R*.
Activision have behaved themselves with Blizzard (though I suppose that was a merger and not a buyout), so it's entirely feasible that they wouldn't ruin the properties, but maybe I'm just being overly optimistic again.

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KingRed
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:19:00 AM

My bad it was EA. Got them mixed up. But there is a rumor that Activision may try after Take-Two.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 10:01:17 PM
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I think if this one doesn't break more records we should be safe calling it the beginning of the burnout until somebody bring that sh*tty old gameplay up to date.

Though I know plenty of kids get their hands on it anyway, I imagine the number of them able to buy M rated games on their own increases every year so it's hard to gauge burnout properly.

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godsman
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:24:49 PM
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Guitar Hero suffered burnout because of the DLC music and plastic instrument. If you can download the new songs and already own the plastic guitars.... why would anyone buy the latest instrument/game disc bundles?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:31:18 PM

exactly, why would anyone buy the same game without improvements over and over?

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Dancemachine55
Monday, March 12, 2012 @ 11:59:12 PM

Sadly, many "gamers" (I use the term loosely) who only play CoD see value in new map packs, new guns and new features that make a slight difference in gameplay, but keeps the core mechanics and design exactly the same. Most are quite content with "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

Seeing as I play other great games, I could see CoD had finally burnt out with Modern Warfare 3, which I did enjoy, but returned within a week and got my money back. I had MW2 for multiplayer, so MW3 was simply to see how the story ended.

Sadly, we grossly underestimate the number of CoD fans there are, who ONLY play CoD and have every CoD game on their shelf since MW1, and nothing else.

I can see Black Ops 2 selling around 3 or 4 million initially, just from fan sales, but I could be wrong. It could sell as many if not more than MW3 or Black Ops. The power of bending to peer pressure just to be included is a powerful selling tool. If a few of your friends get BO2, and stop playing MW3, what are you gonna do? Whine and complain they should stop buying them and go back to MW3, or just bend to peer pressure and get BO2 so you can join your friends online.

Sadly, I don't think this is going to end anytime soon. CoD is a social game, and until EVERYBODY decides to stop buying them and stick with what they've got, sales will continue to rise. Sad, I know.

These CoD fans are more zombies than Treyarch designs. Sorry, not zombies... sheep.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:55:39 AM

I dont know, im with dancemachine. Maybe this time they changed the engine significantly enough to reel in the sheep.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:20:07 AM
Reply

It could mean a variety of things. But I think it would just the sales starting to flatten out. On a line graph you would see sales continuing to grow year over year until it hits a plateau. It probably doesn't mean anything, unless of course the sales fell dramatically. But I wouldn't bet the hard core fans would give up on the franchise because Treyarch didn't do something more, like create a new engine.

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Russell Burrows
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 2:36:14 AM
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Yawn.
Patiently waiting on a much better shooter like Dust514.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 3:23:30 AM
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All I know is that everything must come to and end.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 4:06:32 AM
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So what if it doesn't?

If you've forgotten, there was actually a massive fan backlash against MW3 when it was first released for doing very little new. Of course, a lot of people ate it up, praising that it was a return to the stellar form of MW2 after the supposed letdown that was Black Ops. I suppose that, in itself, will affect the sales figures: the combination of some people being burned by MW3 and others by BO. Even aside from that, it is to be expected. This year's release will be the eighth year in a row that has seen a CoD release.

The number of consoles in homes continues to grow, but there are also fans that are dropping off the bandwagon and that balance could tip at any time. There's no denying that and, even if that year is here, it ultimately means very little. Unless there is a drastic reduction in the number of units sold (I'm talking about cutting it cleanly in half) Activision will continue to have more entries churned out, possibly at a faster rate to accommodate for the drop of sales.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 6:15:15 AM

Misread the article a bit... thought it said "When Modern Warfare 3 was released, the CoD fans went crazy."

Sentiment still applies though.

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___________
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 5:34:29 AM
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so what?
if this years COD sells 1 copy its not going to change a single thing!
its going to take a sh*t load more then 1 shooter to miserably fail for the industry to wake up to themselves!
if every shooter from now till 2013 sold 1 copy then maybe then we would start seeing a shift.
but just one game no matter how popular it is is not going to change jack!

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Dancemachine55
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 5:35:50 AM
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This is nothing like Guitar Hero. With GH and even Rock Band there was a lot of money that needed to be invested with things like guitar controllers, drum kits, microphones, but the real problem was that Guitar Hero's 1, 2, 3 Legends of Rock and 4 World Tour had already used some of the best and most iconic songs to pretend to play as a band! More songs on a new game was not going to cut it, and even then the learning curve was very steep between Easy and Expert.

With Call of Duty, there's no additional hardware that needs to be purchased to play it. You got a PS3 or 360, a controller, a net connection and you can access everything the game has to offer!

Also, Activision have been very clever in not bringing out more than 1 CoD title per year, preventing oversaturating of the CoD market like they did with all the different Hero games (Band Hero and DJ Hero anyone?)

By releasing more than 9 "Hero" titles over 4 years across all platforms, Activision burned out the Guitar Hero fad incredibly quickly, but they have been smart enough not to make this mistake with Call of Duty.

Yes, CoD games are annual, but a 1 year wait is actually the PERFECT amount of time between titles that are this popular with both gaming and non-gaming masses. Yes, each game is mutliplatform, meaning there will be a lot of them, but they're all the SAME game!! You just have to pick your platform of choice and buy that one only, unlike Guitar Hero which had 3 titles in one year for a single platform alone. Oversaturation at its finest!

As I stated in a reply above, I believe Black Ops 2 will sell incredibly well, maybe not break World records like before, but might come close, and here is why...

Nearly every teen with a 360 or PS3 plays Call of Duty. It's the one thing next to weekend sports that counts to them as socialising and playing a competitive or cooperative game. These teens will do anything to be socially accepted and considered "cool" , so if some of the cool rich kids get Black Ops 2 for christmas, guess what little Johnny is going to be asking for Christmas if he wants to continuously play online with his friends.

Not only is CoD a good multiplayer FPS, but it is also incredibly simple in its game mechanics that almost anyone can pick it up and play. Like Mario, CoD is easy to pick up and play but difficult to master. The small percentage of hardcore gamers are tired of Call of Duty because they know there are superior titles out there, but the mass majority of people playing CoD a few times a week couldn't care less. These people stick with CoD because they are familiar with it AND because many of their friends play it too.

Also, CoD is almost the ONLY major AAA shooter, except Halo, with 4 player split-screen. How many other great shooters have 4 player split-screen for fun gaming parties?



I don't see CoD dying as quickly as Guitar Hero though, but I do see it slowly dwindling over the next 3 years, especially when next-gen consoles finally come out. I think it'll continue to sell a few million with each new sequel or prequel, so long as it maintains its annual release schedule. The moment a second CoD comes out in the space of a year will be the final nail in the coffin for that franchise.

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berserk
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 6:22:07 AM
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After the disappointment that was mw3 , at least compared to the rest ( maybe not world at war ),i would nt be surprised if the sales go down and the future of the series will be determined by black ops 2 quality .

If it s really good the next one will break record again if not it will continue to decline .

I m an Analyst , you can trust me on this 100 % .

lol


P.S anyone else won t buy it unless the series gets a significant overhaul ???

Last edited by berserk on 3/13/2012 6:27:50 AM

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Godslim
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 7:20:41 AM
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Lets hope not so that they will see people are getting bored and give cod a reboot with a new engine

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 10:52:15 AM

Obviously people aren't getting that bored or they would stop buying it.

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friction
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 7:44:11 AM
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gta will wipe the floor with the new cod.

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ulsterscot
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 8:20:08 AM
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don't see any reason this won't be a blockbuster. Really enjoying MW3 and still play a bit of BLOPS - if they stick to the same formula I 'll buy it - and all the map packs. I will only stop playing it when it is no longer fun. It might not be new, it might not be original, and rpg fans may hate it - but the COD juggernaut will not let up so long as online remains so much FUN.

COD4 is the game that brought me back gaming after a 20 something year lay off (Atari 2600 whoohoo). Its the game everyone i know in their 40s with a console owns. We get new map packs for our favourite game every year - rock on. Roll on BLOPS 2.

I expect they will update the engine for the next generation of consoles - but likely not until then.

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jimmyhandsome
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 8:38:27 AM
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It'll still sell 10-15 million copies when its all said and done like the other Call of Dutys. Its due for a decline at some point, but I could easily see it picking up right where it left off once the next gen consoles come out and they finally update the engine.

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H0TSHELLZ
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 8:48:15 AM
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COD will do it AGAIN and when Ben post's those sells figures ill read your hating comments and lol.

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wackazoa
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 9:22:54 AM
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We shall still see Black Ops 3. And by then I'll be borrowing my nephews MW4. So it works out for me.

Last edited by wackazoa on 3/13/2012 9:24:11 AM

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JCARROLL
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 9:54:16 AM
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If the sales numbers start to slide, Activision will have no choice but to shake things up a bit. Without Call of Duty, which I am not a big fan of, they don't really have any top quality franchises on console.

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AcHiLLiA
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 @ 12:24:32 PM
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If they don't break sales records this time around, the people must be doing something right, if the game engine is the same every year.

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buckoboy1
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 2:10:43 AM
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I have bought every cod besides waw since cod4. Ive enjoyed each one, but through each game my experience and enjoyment of the game has dwindled down. The fact that literally nothing has changed has decided the next game for me. Until a new engine is made and they change the game up I wont be buying another Cod. Me and my friends have all agreed, The next Cod will fall short of expectations. Due to us, the gamers, standing up for ourselves, sure a bunch of 12-14 year olds will beg their rich bastard parents to buy the game for them which will count towards the numbers, but others are beginning to see the light, myself included.

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Mr_Sterg
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 @ 4:25:18 PM
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It means finally they'll invest in a new engine. They are trying to milk this as far as it goes on the business side it is a smart thing to do. Revenue$$$ > R &D $$$. But for us gamers we are at the tiping point.

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