Blizzard's highly-anticipated StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty could sell around 5 million units worldwide in its first year of release.
That's according to Cowan and Company's Doug Creutz, who noted that the original StarCraft has sold roughly 10 million units since launch ten years ago. He also added that he expects the Chinese online launch of StarCraft II – in conjunction with partner NetEase – to be in 2011.
Looking at the buzz surrounding last week's announcement of Call of Duty: Black Ops, Creutz pointed to the number 5 ranking of the game in Amazon's charts, and suggested it will sell less copies than last year's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, although a higher installed base should help the title.
"Although we estimate a 26 per cent decline in unit sales versus 2009’s Modern Warfare 2, we believe there is potential for upside versus our estimates, if for no other reason than that we expect the combined 360/PlayStation 3 hardware installed base to have grown by roughly 35 per cent year-on-year when Black Ops is launched."
He added: "A strong performance by Black Ops could alleviate concerns about the impact of talent losses at the other Call of Duty development studio, Infinity Ward."