Although Activision expected lower sales for Call of Duty: Ghosts than for previous record-breaking installments in the series, there are more and more suggestions that the problem might be greater than publishing across two console generations.
C+VG quotes analysts Doug Creutz, who points out that although November sales only showed a 19% drop from last year, Ghosts also went on sale two weeks earlier (For Xbox 360 and PS3). And if you compare to Infinity War’s last effort two years ago, with just a week difference in sale times, the drop is 32% from Modern Warfare 3.
Having said that Ghosts is still a top selling game, but the figures are backed up by our own anecdotal evidence – most of the Call of Duty obsessives we started playing with appear to have drifted away, and the leaderboards seem noticeably shorter than for any previous game.
Having said that, the bi-annual split between developers does seem to give CoD a second chance – players who weren’t impressed with Modern Warfare 3 seemed to return for Black Ops 2. But given our own frustrations with the game (poor single-player, bad spawns and even more grinding structure in multiplayer), it seems that Activision and Call of Duty need to take a good look at their future direction . That won’t happen until the series falls from being one of the top sellers each year, so we’ll have to see what happens in 2014 and 2015.