Analyst doubt Black Ops II ability to keep breaking records

Call of Duty: Black Ops II may have broken a few records already, but the November 13 launch won’t bring with it many more. That’s what the ever-reliable analysts are predicting, anyway.

It’ll sell well, no doubt, but a number of crystal ballers are questioning the game’s ability to outdo its predecessors Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops, with the upcoming holiday season being packed with triple-AAA releases and all.

“I don’t think Modern Warfare 3 is going to sell more than the last Black Ops, so I doubt that this one will break a record,” says Wedbush man Michael Pachter. “I think that Call of Duty is a phenomenon, selling way more than 20 million units annually, and it’s unrealistic to think that number can grow meaningfully with each annual release.

RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian believes that November’s Halo 4 will be ¬†among the titles to give the Treyarch game competition: “We are forecasting Black Ops II to sell roughly the same number of copies as Modern Warfare 2 in 2011.”

Sebastian also feels that the series is in need of new hardware; “developers are working with 7-year-old technology in an environment when tablets and smart TVs will soon be just as powerful.”

The third doubter, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich, points to the ‘softness’ of the HD market. He explains: “The entire HD market is very soft at the moment, and it is understandable that retailers, publishers, and analysts are likely to be conservative on any Black Ops II forecast. Whether Black Ops II sets any records this year will depend entirely upon the overall engagement of HD consumers, which is largely out of the control of Activision and Treyarch.”

There is one beacon of light to brighten Activision’s day though; “Call of Duty should continue to do very well and is likely to continue to break records as it will sell into a larger installed base of consoles,” says M2 Research’s Billy Pidgeon.

“I think other big hits will also continue to perform strongly until we get into the console transition and enthusiast spending begins to shift towards hardware again.”

Speculation is entertaining and all, but fact is that Black Ops II is off to a frighteningly hood start, having out-done its Amazon UK pre-orders 3-to-1, and Amazon US pre-orders by more than 10-to-1.