Activision and Treyarch's upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops is seeing faster preorder pickup than its Infinity Ward-created predecessor Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, according to Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson, who projects the game's total holiday season sales at 12 million units.
That figure, reported this week by GameSpot and by IndustryGamers, represents a 20 percent increase over Wilson's previous holiday season sales expectation of 10 million units. The analyst boosted his expectations after speaking to Pacific Crest's retail contacts, who have received more preorders for Black Ops than they had at the same point prior to the release of Infinity Ward's last game.
Still, while every game in the Call of Duty game over the series' seven-year history has set a new franchise sales record so far, Wilson thinks that trend ended with Modern Warfare 2.
That game managed to accrue 16 million units in its holiday season release period, 33 percent more than what is expected for Black Ops, and Black Ops is unlikely to see the same long-term sales over time.
Wilson pointed to "competition, weaker marketing, and the Infinity Ward situation" -- referring to the Modern Warfare 2 studio's well-publicized employee drain -- as primary factors informing his sales expectations.