Activision CEO Confident COD: Advanced Warfare Will Outsell Ghosts
While financial analysts have been predicting Advanced Warfare will undersell last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts, the CEO of Activision remains confident.
Games Industry reports that Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia expects Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's fourth quarter shipments to be down 15 percent compared to Ghosts' fourth quarter 2013 shipments. R.W. Baird & Co. analyst Colin Sebastian predicts Advanced Warfare will move around 18 million units, which he claims will be 10 percent less than Ghosts. In light of all these doubts of Advanced Warfare's performance, Eric Hirshberg, the CEO of Activision Publishing, expects Advanced Warfare to do better than Ghosts.
"Pre-orders are a good barometer for day one, but I don't think they reflect the overall demand for the product," says Hirshberg. "[They] don't represent what they used to - because of the move to digital and all the ways people can buy the game."
Hirshberg added, "We see purchase intent well above last year and we see engagement with the brand in social media channels all being markedly up, so I'm still optimistic."
Many of these financial analysts' predictions were based on pre-order numbers, which have been on the decline overall due to digital distribution. At the same time, many longtime COD fans may have jumped ship due to the indifference of each annual offering of the series. Advanced Warfare seems to be the change the series needs. Factoring in Activision's free digital upgrades for those who buy the Xbox 360 or PS3 version of the game to go to the PS4 or Xbox One version, and the incentives are definitively there.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is out now for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
It all depends on the sound effects.