Sales of Call of Duty: Ghosts are down 19 per cent year-over-year compared to Call of Duty: Black Ops II, market analysis firm Cowen & Company has said.
While a drop had been expected by Activision, which has previously said that it believed the transition to new consoles would hurt sales, Cowen & Company's Doug Creutz believes the publisher should be worried.
"Upon further reflection, we think the [Call of Duty] numbers are a bit more troubling than they first appeared," Creutz wrote in a note to investors. "While the year-over-year gap is only 19 percent thus far, that includes two extra weeks of sales for the 360 and PS3 versions [of Black Ops II]. Against 2011′s [Modern Warfare 3], where the difference is only one week, the title is down 32 percent life-to-date."
He added: "We don't think it is out of the question that the title could wind up comparing down 20 percent to 25 percent year-over-year [to Black Ops II], which is appreciably worse than the down 10 to 15 percent that we think is baked in to guidance."
With gamers expected to continue to shift their focus to the Xbox One and PS4 it will be many years before the installed base rivals that of the PS3 and Xbox 360 in their prime. Therefore Activision must ensure future Call of Duty titles continue to impress on both new and older systems.