According to industry analysts, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 won’t be setting sales records the way its predecessor did.
Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter called the franchise a phenomenon, but said further sales growth was unrealistic.
"I don't think Modern Warfare 3 is going to sell more than the last Black Ops, so I doubt that this one will break a record."
Colin Sebastian of RW Baird agreed, noting that although the console industry continued to consolidate around a small number of franchises, Halo 4’s November launch would keep sales at the level of Modern Warfare 2 – around 22 million.
Sebastian also saw the need for new tech.
"Overall, I think games like Call of Duty need new console hardware – developers are working with 7-year-old technology in an environment when tablets and smart TVs will soon be just as powerful."
Billy Pidgeon of M2 Research dissented, stating that BLOPS2 will sell to a larger install base, and that “big hits will also continue to perform strongly until we get into the console transition and enthusiast spending begins to shift towards hardware again".
EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich was perhaps the most insightful.
"Every year we question whether the Call of Duty franchises can set new records, and for the last four years they have proven us wrong."
Black Ops sold over 25 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling game of all time in the US, UK and Europe.