Call of Duty may seem like a bulletproof franchise (pun totally intended), but there are some analysts who think that may not be the case, and that COD’s FPS bubble is going to burst eventually—maybe even as soon as this year. Analysts chalk this up to some of the changes that the franchise is undergoing such as its transition to a futuristic setting. Some of the criticism comes from analyst Ben Schachter of Macquarie Securities. Schachter not only believes that fans may be divided about the series’ new direction, but also that the gaming industry may be starting to slow down in general. According to Schachter, the new setting in the year 2025, “might not have the same appeal for some.”
We think that Schachter is jumping the gun on this one (pun intended again). Just look at the pre-sale figures for Black Ops 2. The newest title in the COD sequence is already breaking pre-sales records—what better indication can there be for the game’s performance in the future?
Perhaps a more well-rounded analysis was offered by analyst Michael Pachter at Wedbush Securities. While Pachter agreed with Schachter overall, he pointed out that if anything, it’s COD’s popularity which may indirectly limit some of its overall sales. How does that work? “[CoD] was (and probably still is) the best multiplayer experience available, [but] Battlefield multiplayer probably cannibalized it a little bit, and this year, Halo and Medal of Honor could cannibalize CoD a bit more,” Pachter said. “Next year, another Battlefield plus the Respawn and Bungie games probably cannibalize it a bit more.” That actually makes some sense.
It also seems that Treyarch has worked hard on satisfying a wide user base, which includes both gamers who are already happy with the franchise’s modern and historical settings and those who are getting tired of the repetition. While the game puts one foot in the future, it has another firmly set in the past—part of the campaign takes place in the 80s and there is a direct tie-in to the first Black Ops game, making this one an effective sequel.
Is Treyarch taking some risks with this title? Definitely—that’s undeniable given the fact that they’re moving in a different direction. At the same time, those risks are likely to pay off. Judging from the glimpses we’ve had of the game’s single-player campaign mode, the series is still going to be true to the action and atmosphere of previous games. At the same time, it’s giving us a lot of excitement that we’ve never seen before. And in just a few days, on August 7th, we’re going to get our first real glimpse of the multiplayer mode, which is of course going to be the central pillar on which the game stands. We’re pretty sure analysts like Schachter are going to be rethinking their words now, or doing their best to make everyone forget them later when Black Ops 2 turns out to be a massive success!