Outside of the mammoth Call of Duty series, things have been pretty rough for Activision lately.
Amidst big cancellations – including the disbanding of the once-invaluable Guitar Hero business unit – Activision now says they have "lower expectations" for this year's Call of Duty installment, which might be Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 3 . According to what Activision Chief Financial Officer Thomas Tippl said during a conference call , this is mostly due to the unbelievable popularity of Black Ops . Said Tippl:
"In order to be prudent and given the enormous success of Black Ops, at this point, we have still planned a retail release in the fall below the levels of success that we have seen with Black Ops. So that's very consistent with how we treated that last year."
It's "consistent" because the publisher said the same about Treyarch's production; they didn't expect it to top Modern Warfare 2 , so the conservative predictions continue. Of course, Black Ops did end up topping MW2 as the most popular video game of the generation, outselling MW2 by 16% its first week and raking in more money and sales in the first 4-6 weeks. Of course, and as you might expect, the conservative estimate doesn't mean Activision isn't confident.
"Now having said all of that, I think we have a blockbuster retail release lined up for the fall that we are extremely excited about, which will be hopefully again the biggest game of the year."
Well, obviously. But we still have to get official confirmation on MW3, and whatever that new CoD title is that is in development at Sledgehammer Games. Who's up for two Calls of Duty in 2011…?