Call of Duty Online Will Keep the Franchise Profitable, Analyst Says

After games industry analyst Michael Pachter speculated that this year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 might not sell as well as previous installments, analyst Jeremy Miller believes that Activision will extract profits from other projects, like the recently announced Call of Duty Online.

The Call of Duty franchise is one of the most profitable in the world but, while recent installments like Black Ops 1 or Modern Warfare 3 broke sales records, Activision predicts in its financial earnings report smaller sales figures for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

This prompted analysts to speculate on what this means for the series, with Michael Pachter saying that, even if the franchise has peaked, it’s still going to sell plenty of copies to earn Activision a profit.

Now, DFC Intelligence analyst Jeremy Miller has shared his own thoughts with GamesIndustry, saying that Activision still has other venues that can be profitable for the series, chief among them being the upcoming Call of Duty Online MMO for the Chinese market.

“With the movement to digital and opening of new markets like China there will be an entirely new source of revenue for Call of Duty that will both replace some of whatever is lost at retail and also not be tracked in retail sales data,” Miller said.

“We feel that Call of Duty is a very strong brand and has plenty of ways to monetize. Tracking retail unit sales year over year is not really a fair comparison as they could be down but overall revenues might be up. So it may very well have peaked at retail but one needs to look at the entire picture. In that sense we do not feel Call of Duty has peaked.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is out on November 13 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. Given that other shooters, including Halo 4, will be released before it, it’s going to be interesting to see what sales figures it will reach.

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