BLOPS2 Sales Down 15% Compared To MW3

When Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick discussed the release strategy for the GTA series earlier this week, he specifically compared it to the Call of Duty series, which sees new games released on a yearly basis. He suggested that Activision’s strategy risked letting the fans get bored with the franchise, and apparently had Black Ops 2′s reported lower than usual sales in mind when he made that point.

We now know how much lower these sales are. Though Activision hasn’t made sales public, as reported on GI, analysts are saying that Black ops 2 sales might be down as much as 15% compared to Modern Warfare 3′s sales a year ago.

“We believe unit sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II are tracking down double digits year-over-year,” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia. “Our checks show initial sales of CoD: Black Ops II at some retailers were down as much as 20 percent. Subsequently, it appears sales of CoD did pick up a bit over the Thanksgiving holiday. We think the current sales curve suggests CoD: Black Ops II unit sales in its first year could ultimately be down 10 percent to 15 percent year-over-year.”

Yikes. The thing is, Black Ops 2 isn’t bad or, at least, it isn’t any worse than previous games. But clearly, the fans aren’t loving it, and boneheaded moves like removing content fans paid for surely hasn’t helped. Does this mean the Call of Duty Juggernaut is starting to wear down? We’ll see when MW4 inevitably drops next year.

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10 Comments on BLOPS2 Sales Down 15% Compared To MW3


On November 30, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Heh, Blacl…


On November 30, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Are you serious?

Black Ops 2 had more pre-orders than any cod title.

As far as removing content fans paid for? It was free. It costed 0 dollars and 0 cents. Activision did a COURTESY by putting in the bonus playlist with the map in the standard rotation.


On November 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

So @lol,

When someone responds with math, you dismiss it and offer an alternative as…… nothing.

While these numbers indeed should be taken with a grain of salt, they haven’t differed too much with the consensus numbers. That is, they still moved a crapton of units, but not as many as last years iteration.


On November 30, 2012 at 4:27 pm


No, people still paid for that content, just not in terms of dollars. They traded the opportunity to wait for reviews and perhaps pick up the game later for a lower price in exchange for that extra bit of content. Just because they didn’t pay extra doesn’t mean they didn’t give something in return for that content. The advertising played up that the content would be there, but conveniently left out that it would be pulled after a week. That doesn’t seem even slightly underhanded to you?

Also, pre-orders don’t always equate to actual sales. Activision will gladly report that they had more pre-orders than ever, but the company is never going to say how many of those were canceled prior to release. Until that payment is made and the customer gets the game, the sale hasn’t been made.

Lime Aide

On November 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Don’t bother responding to ‘lol’, he’s one of the fanboys Jim Sterling was directly attacking (correctly) in his article earlier this week. Nothing more than a blind, delusional idiot who still thinks a customer’s only responsibility is to accept whatever worthless crap they’re handed and that an investment in a product is a ‘gamble’. His is exactly the mentality we need to move away from if this industry is ever going to progress from its current stagnant holding pattern.


On November 30, 2012 at 6:50 pm


Yeah, Nuketown 2025 was free… but it was a bonus for preordering it… when I get bonuses from a game that I preordered, I expect that to be a permanent thing unless they clearly state otherwise… Maybe I might not have preordered it if I knew that I wasn’t actually gonna own the preorder bonus that they promised. I might’ve just waited to see if the game was worth it? But when I saw Nuketown was a map I could attain by preordering the game, I weighed my pros and cons and decided that I’d rather have Nuketown in my arsenal than wait to buy the game… They did a bait and switch, and that’s definitely not a good business practice.


On November 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Correct me if i’m wrong, but didn’t the nuketown playlist specifically say “24/7/365″? Not 24/7 for seven days…

Scott Pringle

On December 1, 2012 at 4:00 am

I love how ‘lol’ is such a deluded fanboy that he considers selling a pre-order item on what is essentially a false pretence, then buckling after those affected correctly call them out on their deceit, to be a “courtesy.” You simply don’t see this type of ridiculous mental warping from ‘fans’ of any other industry. No wonder videogames are still more or less seen as a joke when ‘lol’ and others are providing the punchline on a daily basis.


On December 1, 2012 at 9:35 pm

To speak for myself. Yeah cod has become a stale. Same old crap different year. But all in all the whole gaming industry can be summed up just like that …same old crap different yr.


On December 3, 2012 at 7:27 am

uber – I think you’ve missed the point. The game itself is very good on a purely objective level. The point is that every formula burns out after a while if you don’t make enough of an effort to update or upgrade it, and when you pull the type of crap that Treyarch did with the pre-order bait-and-switch then obviously it’s going to result in a dip in sales. Not every gamer is as blindly forgiving and obedient as ‘lol’, a lot of us actually remember and care about the times we’re lied to and won’t pay into those companies in future.