By James Brightman
Call of Duty did the unthinkable for two straight years, setting entertainment sales records with games from two different developers – Infinity Ward and Treyarch. This holiday, development swings back to the (rebuilt) Infinity Ward team with the help of Sledgehammer, and analysts see Modern Warfare 3 topping the charts yet again.
Sterne Agee’s Arvind Bhatia said this week, after seeing Modern Warfare 3 and the newElite social service at E3, that Modern Warfare 3 should surpass Black Ops‘ sales. “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (releasing 11/8/11) looks very impressive and we expect the title to sell at least in line with but probably grow versus last year’s title, which sold an estimated 20M units,” Bhatia noted.
As for Call of Duty‘s primary challenger, EA’s Battlefield 3, Bhatia believes the game will come out of the gate strong, racking up sales of close to half of Modern Warfare‘s forecasted total. “Battlefield 3 (releasing 10/25/11) is getting strong reviews and we think has the potential to sell 8M to 10M units this year,” he said.
Bhatia’s comments fall in line with what EEDAR’s Jesse Divnich previously told us, comparing the shooter battle to the music genre battle of years past: “This is no different than Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band, where it was clear thatRock Band was a better game, yet Guitar Hero outsold it 2 to 1. I believe we will likely see the same occur in 2011, where Battlefield 3 will likely be a ‘better’ game, but Call of Duty will still outpace it 2 to 1.”
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