Despite Activision's excited early announcement that the new Call of Duty Black Ops II had broken Modern Warfare 3's record pace to the US$1bn sales mark, the number of units sold on Xbox 360 and playStation 3 in the game's first month is still reportedly down over 14 percent from last year's effort (via MCV
Gamasutra reckons that the game shifted 4.5m on Xbox 360 and 2.9m on PS3. Sales of the Wii U and PlayStation Vita versions were not included.
MW3 sold 8.8m units in the US in its first month, up ten per cent on the equivalent sales of 2010’s Black Ops. However, Black Ops II sold just 7.4m in the same period. Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company had forecast sales of 7.9m units.
In addition, Longbow Research's James Hardiman reckons that Activision shot itself in the foot by issuing a press release stating that the game had beaten its predecessor to $1bn sales.
"We do not believe that Activision did itself any favours by putting out a press release touting that Black Ops II had crossed $1bn in just 15 days, faster than the 16 days required for Modern Warfare 3 to reach the $1bn mark," he said.
"What management did not mention is the fact that with an earlier release date, Modern Warfare 3 was able to reach $1bn a day before Thanksgiving, whereas Black Ops II was not able to get there until after Cyber Monday."
So Black Ops II won the race to $1bn thanks to Thanksgiving sales turbo booster, but looks set to underperform in the longer term.