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Retail

85% drop in sales for Black Ops

Mon 22 Nov 2010 10:19am GMT / 5:19am EST / 2:19am PST
Retail

Ubisoft's latest Assassin's Creed is 63,000 sales behind new COD

Activision Publishing

Activision, Inc. is a leading international publisher of interactive entertainment software products....

activision.com

Brotherhood has become the fast-selling launch in the Assassin's Creed series, landing in second place in the UK charts in its first week - 63,000 units behind Call of Duty: Black Ops.

While Activision's shooter kept Ubisoft's action game at bay, Chart-Track statements reveal it saw an 85 per cent decline in sales in its second week of availability.

Given the game is known to have sold two million copies in its first five days at UK retail, a decline to 15 per cent of that figure would seem to put its second week sales somewhere in the region of 300,000 (dependent on the sales on day six and seven of the first week).

Brotherhood is thus likely to have shifted North of 200,000 copies for Ubisoft in the UK alone.

This follows speculation by Activision execs and analysts that Black Ops might not ultimately best the sales records set by its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2.

Brotherhood, meanwhile, saw a 55 to 45 per cent split between Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 sales.

Last week's full UK charts, which otherwise see a Nintendo dominance of the top 10, are available here.

12 Comments

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
Did you not SEE my comment that sales drop off very quickly in your post about 2 million sales for Black Ops in the first week?!

This is one of those 'cool' and ridiculously 'hyped' titles that get those they would buy it all pumped up. this means practically all the people that are going to buy it, buy it in the first week or so!

Meanwhile other titles, like say STALKER Call of Pripyat, that only sells 300,000 in the first week continues to sell, so at the end of the first year it has sold 2 million +. Because of the way the gaming media works, immediate salses count for more than overall sales.

So although many will automatically say in years to come, that Black Ops must have totally outsold a title like STALKER Call of Pripyat, the fact will be that these smaller quality titles end up selling just as well and if anything make MORE money, because they are brought to market for $10 rather than $40 million!

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Andrew Clayton QA Weapons Tester, Electronic Arts

150 8 0.1
@James: Relax. I'm sure Meer saw your comment and people (myself included) agree with you. Good games continue to sell long after they have been released, over-hyped games drop off very quickly. The media always tends to put forward stories of games like Black Ops that sell high the first week because that's slightly more interesting than headlines like "Call of Pripyat sells 2 million in 1 year".

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,195 1,170 0.5
What, someone expected Blops to move 5m or slightly under EVERY week of its launch window? The huge drop off is not only to be expected, it's also common sense numbers in an economy that still stinks in a few too many places. Of course, this is what happens when the industry relies solely on stupid midnight launches and the insane figures generated from them as the MAIN barometer of any game's success these days...

g.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game

1,254 421 0.3
I'd look at it more like, it dropped 85% and still sold nearly 50% more than the next best selling game.
It's daft to act like it's done badly selling 300k in a week just because it sold 2M the week before, and as high as it's profile is, I'd guess numbers will rise in December for Xmas.

Posted:4 years ago

#4
It seems others are starting to truly step up to the plate to compete with Blizzard, if not learn from it. The new quality MMO titles due out next year should make for steeper competition as well.
It seems also that we haven't seen the last of MOH as sales were good enough for a sequel last I read. Also some others seem to say that Black Ops wasn't that great. I think that they relied too heavily on the video shorts in transition to the next mission in this new version of CoD; While playing the campaign. It works, but it is a tad annoying in my opinion.
I wonder how many of these they would sell if they didn't make them with any campaigns, and perhaps they could up their profit margin as well that way.

Posted:4 years ago

#5

Kim Soares Lead Designer, Nitro Games

13 0 0.0
@James Ingrams: True, but you have to vector in the fact that the longer a game sells, the more price drops it usually gets. So maybe Stalker sells at 40 EUR on day one and only 12,99 EUR on day 365. While Black Ops sells 99% of its units at 49,99 EUR.

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
Mr Angry at the top forgot that MW2 has been in the top 10 selling games since it's launch last November and as Kim points out that's at full price. ATVI do not discount period. It's the retailers who take the hit on the margins if its for sale cheaper. Blacks Op is in for the long haul. You can bet that anyone buying a HD console will buy it as well. That's exactly what happened with MW2. So we'll see Black Ops in the top 10 selling games for a very long time.

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Jake Stefanov Game Producer, XS Software JSCo

11 1 0.1
Graham Simpson a game that is so badly designed you don't need to fire a single shot to complete some of the missions does not deserve to be there. First came the ridiculous DLC's for MW2, overpriced and bringing just a few more maps to the table(MW2 had a complete lack of maps ever compared to MW1), then came this product that's probably designed with community feedback + ideas that did not make it into MW2. Sadly it will be successful because of the marketing hype around it.

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Jake Stefanov Game Producer, XS Software JSCo

11 1 0.1
"To be fair they did earn a golden bucket of diamond's worth of cash out of the DLC so it couldn't have been that wide of the mark."
Why give the user a fair deal when you can rob him by making him pay for something that should have been in the game in the first place? Too much greed in the AAA industry nowadays imo... And I remember a time in the recent past when developers were fighting for the consumer's choice with complete products and attention to details.
No wonder Blizzard is alone at the top, they are like the last boyscout right now :)

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart

219 7 0.0
Jake, how can there be too much greed in the AAA industry? These are businesses providing a service and given the amount of revenues they are generating they are clearly providing the customers with what they want. These businesses exist because shareholders have invested in them. It's nonsense to say someone who invested their money should get a smaller return because they are being 'greedy'. Don't be silly. Communism failed for a reason.

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,195 1,170 0.5
Er... Communism? Dunno where to begin on that one... How did we end up on the Glen Beck show?

Anyway, Jake has a point - to wit:

Back when DLC was initially foisted on gamers, it was hated by many (including a few of us editor-types). Anyone recall stuff like charging real money for fake in-game money or weapons you'd eventually unlock on your own, Horse Armor (OK, I spent the five bucks) and so forth and so on. Many hated it and complained so much about the nickel and dime nonsense, but stopping the big, bad machine once it starts is pretty much impossible.

So complaints were heard and the process was modified over time to what it is now but still gently force-fed all the way until it became a lot more acceptable. That's not giving the people what they want, but making them THINK you're giving them what they want while you part them from their wallets in a more confident manner.

While a good deal of DLC is great, a lot of it is stuff that yes, should have been part of the retail package (or an expansion) and NONE of this pay to play content addresses users that STILL don't have broadband access, are too young to have accounts (and parents that don't want the expense of one) or other retail issues. On that front, there's money to be made that's NOT being made.

Of course, companies that wisely release Game of the Year editions or other post-release compilations are the smarter ones in the end, as they address the above issue for those who can manage to wait while giving an "old" hit a second life...

Borderlands GOTY, Undead Nightmare and GTA IV Complete (among others) ftw...

Posted:4 years ago

#11

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
@Kim Soares Actually, you find it's the other way around. Many AAA titles, for example Napoleon Total War was under $20 within a month. If anything the AAA titles get over manufactured and have lots of stock to sell of and smaller titles keep tighter control of stocks.

You are also ignoring the fact that as others have said, it mostly the retailer that takes the hit, as well as ignoring the fact that games like STALKER get brought to market $30 million cheaper than games like Black Ops. That's the net profit on around 3 million units from day one!

Posted:4 years ago

#12

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