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Activision Blizzard reported during its 2013 Q3 Earnings Call that Call of Duty: Ghosts did not reach the day one sales of its predecessor, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. A written summary of the call can be found on Forbes. This story, first reported by Forbes contributor Paul Tassi here, finally puts to rest any possible notion that the franchise has overtaken Grand Theft Auto V in day-one sales. It should also help to get rid of that pesky $1 billion dollar sell-in number that Activision reported in its news release. This number was deliberately deceptive to members of the press, and led to inaccurate news postings and blogs from reputable bodies, such as The New York Daily News and TIME Magazine. As I had stated in my previous story, the $1 billion dollar sell-in number does not represent an actual consumer sales figure, and thus could not be compared with those of Grand Theft Auto V or the previous Call of Duty.
The lack of record-setting sales for Call of Duty: Ghosts is not surprising or damning. The game is set to hit 6 platforms, 2 of which have yet to be released. These 2 consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s Playstation 4, will probably account for the bulk of the game’s sales. It is entirely possible that Ghosts will break total sales records, and the earnings call spends quite a bit of time outlining the holiday possibilities to Activision Blizzard’s investors. Grand Theft Auto had the luxury of only releasing to one generation of consoles, so it sold a staggering amount very early on. Many gamers, including this reporter, are waiting until the new consoles come out to make the final choice between Call of Duty: Ghosts and its competitors, most notably EA’s Battlefield 4. The ladder has also received higher ratings from reviewers, which could help explain a dip in day-one and possibly overall sales. Even with this information, Call of Duty remains a model franchise in terms of quality and profit, and I expect it to do very well once the next generation consoles hit.
This posting was originally published on Corrupted Cartridge here.