GamesBeat

Analyst: Destiny will likely outsell Call of Duty with ‘at least 15M’ copies sold

Above: Destiny is on track to outsell everything else in 2014.

Image Credit: Bungie

The best-selling shooter for the last several years has had “Call of Duty” in its title. Now, it looks like another Activision release is going to put an end to that reign.

Activision and developer Bungie will sell at least 15 million copies of the upcoming sci-fi shooter Destiny, according to an estimate from Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz. Every year following the big Electronic Entertainment Expo tradeshow in June, Cowen begins tracking the performance of upcoming games on retail sites like Amazon to get an idea of how excited players are for those games. Destiny has the highest rating in the four-year history of Cowen’s chart. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, meanwhile, is tracking behind the three previous entries in the franchise, and Creutz believes that a lot of that is due to “cannibalization” from Destiny.

“We continue to believe that Destiny is a lock to sell at least 15 million copies,” wrote Creutz. “And we now view 20 million copies as increasingly likely.”

Destiny’s rating on Cowen’s chart is actually higher at this point than either 2012’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II or 2013’s Grand Theft Auto V. Black Ops II went on to sell 25 million copies and Grand Theft Auto V is at 33 million.

“Now, we still think it’s unlikely that Destiny will match the actual unit sales of [Call of Duty: Black Ops II] or [Grand Theft Auto V] due to the cap created by a PS4/Xbox One hardware installed base that we expect to be 25 to 30 million units by year’s end,” wrote Creutz. “We do expect Destiny to spur significant hardware unit sales of PS4s and Xbox Ones, and we expect Destiny to have very high attach rate to new-gen hardware.”

The Cowen analyst team is estimating that nearly one in every two PS4s or Xbox Ones sold may end up paired with a copy of Destiny.

Bungie is running a massive beta test for Destiny that is open to everyone with PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360. Demand for the test appears intense, but Activision and Bungie have not released any numbers about how many people are in the game.

As for Activision’s other major shooter, things aren’t looking quite as bright. Creutz notes that Advanced Warfare is on track to sell 80 percent less of what Call of Duty: Ghosts did (at least when compared to where Ghosts was at this point last year).

“This is a pretty shocking result, ” he wrote.”And if it is representative of actual final unit sales, then Activision has a serious problem — even given the likely performance of Destiny.”

Of course, Advanced Warfare’s is potentially out of its groove due to the hype for Destiny. Activision is focusing its outreach and marketing efforts on Bungie’s shooter until it debuts in September. That means Call of Duty’s advertising campaign won’t fully emerge until later in the year, and that could help boost preorders.

“Ultimately, we do not really think Call of Duty is going to wind up selling just around 5 million copies,” wrote Creutz. “And therefore we do think preorders for Call of Duty — and probably other Q4 titles — are likely to accelerate significantly after Destiny’s launch. However, the question is ‘how much.'”

While Destiny is looking like a big win for Activision, it won’t really help the company if it comes at the expense of Call of Duty, which is its marquee, multibillion-dollar franchise.

“We do think that the risks of cross-franchise cannibalization are considerable at this point,” wrote Creutz.

More information:

Activision (Activision Blizzard) is an American video game developer and publisher headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, but now operating worldwide. It was the first independent developer and distributor of video games for gaming consol... read more »

Bungie was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve our real goal of total world domination... read more »

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9 comments
Jimmy Chan
Jimmy Chan

How does the XBox One and PS4 install base 'cap' Destiny's sales?  The game is being released on 360 and PS3 also.  Most "analysts" are just people who couldn't get real jobs.  The editor is also an idiot for giving this analyst the time.

Eagleeye595 Stopdreaming
Eagleeye595 Stopdreaming

So ummm i was sent here after reading some dumb so called "Expert's opinion" on this pile of donkey doo doo selling 15-20mil copies. LOL you know what i personally am not going to buy the game, not because i dislike it or think it is a bad game or anything negative. I simply have outgrown this genre i believe. But to make such a f***** stupid baseless assumption is just idiotic, and whoever thought this pile will sell 20mil copies, please come right back here and find me when it passes the 10mil mark in sales (if ever) OK? and if it doesn't please quit your day job and go work somewhere that does not require any brainpower. This game will sell only to the hardcore 2-12year old's, i am guessing about 5-8mil worth of sales until all the kids and some 30's gamers bought it. Then it might even drag itself to 10mil mark in 2years or 3. But that's where it will end, and yes i am willing to bet my life on it. Not the virtual life either, my real life o mighty worthless expert analyst.

Xiao Lin
Xiao Lin

Roflcopter @ haters. "Slow and boring" did you play the beta? No? I know it's not CoD piece but seriously Destiny will be Game of the Year. No amount of bashing, hating, or fanboy rage is going to change that. When Destiny is the next cultural phenomenon and CoD looks like small time you will feel pretty foolish.

Irshu EK
Irshu EK

Call of duty is my favorite game, i can finish it just in 5 hrs, and is really fast paced, best choice for casual gamers...

Walter Riggs
Walter Riggs

Tough to do when people never heard of Destiny. Even my shooter-loving kid never heard of em. Besides, I thought Destiny was on a trip to the edge of the universe

elijah thomas
elijah thomas

yes it is slow but its not boring, majority of the aspects in destiny they plan to put in advanced warfare,"heavy weapon class" double jumping and even the design of guns. if you played the destiny beta and looked at advanced warfares campaign mode you know what I'm talking about. they are killing the cod series with this copy and paste garbage themselves, its not because they are making other games its because they just made call of duty ghost and copied some of battlefield aspects and a lot of people hated it including myself, now they are about to make another one and ruin it by adding these crazy features to the game, i would just like to see a traditional call of duty on the next gen before they completely destroy the series. I cannot play mw3 or black ops 2 on my xbox one and i would be happy if we can get the good old call of duty back before its ruined.

Hrithik Vaishnav
Hrithik Vaishnav

It will never happen...Peoples played the beta ,and it was extremely slow and booring

Eagleeye595 Stopdreaming
Eagleeye595 Stopdreaming

At least you didn't buy the system and still waiting for a game, like in my case. I've purchased the PS4 was hoping i would at least get to play drive club ya know? well turns out Sony screwed me out of that deal when they set it back. Now i have 0 games and still waiting until something that's worth buying comes along to play.

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