The console cycle is like nature. The old must wither and die so that the young and new can replace it … with more games from publishers Electronic Arts and Activision.
Those two giant companies are trumpeting early success on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Activision points out that its popular military-shooter franchise Call of Duty is cleaning up on PS4 and is poised to do very well on the upcoming Xbox One (which goes on sale Friday).
“Call of Duty: Ghosts is the No. 1 best-selling game on PS4 in North America at Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Walmart, and also the No. 1 preordered Xbox One title in North America at those retailers for launch,” Activision Publishing chief executive Eric Hirshberg said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited about the consumer response as we look forward to this Friday’s release of Xbox One. As we’ve said before, it’s a great time to be a gamer, and a great time for Call of Duty fans.”
Call of Duty is an annual franchise, meaning Activision releases a new one every year. Typically, Call of Duty is the best-selling title of the year, but it’s going to fall short of Grand Theft Auto V’s massive numbers this year.
Electronic Arts on the other hand is pointing out that all of its games are enjoying a very high attach rate with the PlayStation 4. EA chief operating officer Peter Moore tweeted the following:
— Peter Moore (@petermooreEA) November 19, 2013
Moore tagged EA games like FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Need for Speed: Rivals, and Battlefield 4. In a note to investors, Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz pointed out that sports titles (FIFA, Madden) and first-person shooters (BF4) tend to do well during a console transition. Need for Speed: Rivals, meanwhile, is one of the best-reviewed launch games for the new systems and is generating buzz based on that.
Creutz also wrote that he expects the average PS4 and Xbox One owner to buy 3.25 games this holiday. If that holds true, EA is in for a very successful holiday if that 1-in-3 ratio continues. Sony sold 1 million PlayStation 4s on day one. If it can replenish hardware stock in a timely manner, and Microsoft can have similar success, then EA and Activision both are well positioned to take advantage of the market. That’s just how the circle of life works in the gaming industry.