Analysts predicted that Call of Duty’s decline would continue this year, but early numbers in at least one country is proving that isn’t necessarily the case.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the top-selling game in the U.K., according to industry-tracking firm GfK Chart-Track (via MCV), and the futuristic military shooter had a bigger first week than 2013’s Call of Duty: Ghosts. Advanced Warfare’s boost came from a significant number of positive reviews, the larger owner base for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014 than in 2013, and an extra day of sales thanks to the Day Zero Edition.
Naturally, Activision is proclaiming this an early success.
“We are very happy with how much fans have embraced Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as evidenced by an increase in combined retail and digital sales year-over-year in the U.K.,” reads a statement from the publisher. “While it’s still early, we think we have a great game that’s fun, engaging, and will keep people playing for some time to come.”
Leading up to the release of Advanced Warfare, Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz noted that preorders were down based on his estimations (which he extrapolated from Amazon’s sales charts). While these early numbers from the U.K. look promising, it doesn’t mean it is certain that Advanced Warfare will outsell Ghosts. In fact, the year-over-year comparison is potentially skewed since Advanced Warfare went on sale on a Monday instead of the typical Tuesday.
Activision also isn’t talking about results from other territories. We’ve asked the company for comment about Advanced Warfare’s sales in North America and other regions, but it is not yet ready to share that data.
Call of Duty’s decline started last year. Ghosts, the franchise’s debut on the new-gen systems, was widely criticized by fans and reviewers for feeling stale. This led to the first year-over-year decline in sales for the series. Call of Duty is a multi-billion-dollar franchise for Activision, and the company’s bottom line is heavily reliant on the shooter. And while it’s still possible that Advanced Warfare may not, in the end, top Ghosts, Activision is showing that it can still top sales charts around the world.