Speaking with MCV, Activision’s European Call of Duty general manager Michaël Sportouch laid out one of the core mission objectives for Black Ops: “set another record” like Modern Warfare 2.
Surpassing any record for MW2 is a lofty goal. To put it in perspective, MW2 holds the record for not just the biggest commercial success in videogame history, but the history of the entertainment at large – movies and music included. MW2’s initial five day commercial killstreak included The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince films, along with Grand Theft Auto IV. Some other less-lofty MW2 records include Activision’s internal markers for videogame pre-orders and DLC via MW2 map-packs. Citing retail sources, Pacific Crest Securities analyst Evan Wilson stated that pre-order numbers are already up over that of MW2’s and Black Ops will sell in excess of 12 million copies.
Sportouch’s record-setting optimism is grounded in the fact that Activision has broken its own record for investment in a title with Call of Duty: Black Ops. He went on to outline other reasons: “I’m not saying it is going to be easy because it’s never easy to beat a record, but the ambition is higher for many reasons. Firstly, Black Ops will benefit from a bigger PS3 and Xbox 360 installed base. Also Black Ops will be available on more formats. Plus we have a fantastic game and a fantastic marketing campaign, so clearly our ambition is to set another record like we did with Modern Warfare 2.”
He also asserts that Activision doesn’t “see a peak at all” for the CoD franchise and competition extends well beyond EA’s Medal of Honor. “We respect the competition and we don’t see the competition only coming from Medal of Honor; there will be other very strong titles in the market – Gran Turismo, Assassin’s Creed – all competing for consumers’ money.”
With only a “few elements” of Black Ops revealed – killstreak rewards, mod support, Hardened and Prestige editions – Sportouch teases that “in the next couple of weeks the community and the press will be really surprised.”
Look for Black Ops’ record-setting mission to begin on November 9.