Although Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 raked in over $500 million on launch day, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia claims that the game’s sales during its first year “could ultimately be down 10 to 15% year-over-year.” In an industry note, the analyst noted:
“Our checks show initial sales of CoD: Black Ops 2 at some retailers were down as much as 20%. Subsequently, it appears sales of CoD did pick up a bit over the Thanksgiving holiday. We think the current sales curve suggests unit sales in its first year could ultimately be down 10 to 15% year-over-year.
If we are right, this would be the second year in a row this critical franchise will have seen units decline. We estimate CoD generates 40 to 45% of the company’s EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) on an annual basis and it goes without saying that weakness in this franchise is a cause for concern.”
If you’re having a hard time believing this, you’re probably not alone. The analyst does offer up two good reasons for the future decline: Halo 4 and customers waiting for the holiday sales to start rolling out.