Analyst: Lower Call of Duty Sales Due to Casual Gamers, Used Games

According to a market analyst, Call of Duty’s “thinning tail” has been a key factor in the relatively low game sales we’ve observed of late.

PiperJaffray analyst Michael Olson predicted that Modern Warfare 3 will be the eighth largest selling game in March 2012 — as opposed to Black Ops, which was 4th on a similar time scale — and will sell less than half of what its predecessor pushed a year ago.

Olson said:

“We believe big name titles are no longer able to sustain ‘fat tails.’ This ‘thinning tail’ phenomenon is driven by 1) casual gamers leaving the market, 2) a steeper pre-sale and up-front curve, and 3) cannibalization from the pre-owned market.”

I’m no fancy-pants market analyst — I’m just a denim-pants writer — but don’t you think releasing the same re-branded product year after year after year has something to do with the diminishing sales of a burnt-out franchise? That maybe, just maybe, gamers have become disenchanted with the obvious cash-grab of yearly sequels?

But, hey… What do I know?

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2 Comments on Analyst: Lower Call of Duty Sales Due to Casual Gamers, Used Games


On April 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I’ve never been a CoD freak myself, I have played 1 or 2 of them for a couple of months but the series has definitely been done to death at this point. Here’s yet another company whining about used games, even going to the extreme of calling it “cannibalization”. I’m sure if they pump out a few extra DLC map packs, that my 11 year old nephew and all the kids his age will harass their parents for, they can recoup the loses for the “cannibalization”. I really hope they take their declining sales as a message to stop pumping out the same bull game with a different package every year.


On April 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Besides the fact that the game SUCKED. HORRIBLE balance. I get more kills and wins with spraying than aiming.