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Activision Blizzard

Call of Duty sales disappoint according to recent data

Activision still insists that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the best-selling console game in the US so far this year

call of duty
Third party data suggests sales are down around 50% compared to last year's Black Ops III release

Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATV) revenues in the New Year are likely to be weighed down by Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, after its latest video game failed to live up to the performance of some of its predecessors.

US physical sales for the first person shooter game were down almost 50% last month compared to last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops III, according to data from market research company NPD.

“Infinite Warfare units came in 17% shy of our expectations, down close to 50% year-on-year,” said Cowen analyst Doug Creutz in a note today.

Another Wall Street source told CNBC that CoD unit sales were down 51% by their calculations.

Although the data doesn’t look good, they only take into account physical sales, which represent roughly 70% of video game sales nowadays. The other 30% of industry sales are through downloads.

The weaker-than-expected sales will likely weigh on Activision’s revenue and earnings heading into next year, analysts reckoned.

Despite the reports, the Santa Monica-based game developer claims the game is the number one console video game in the US, based on year-to-date revenue from physical unit sales, even though it only launched just over a month ago.

Barclays isn’t bearish on the firm either, pointing to the fact that Activision’s highly-anticipated Diablo 4 game is only a year or so away from release.

“We fully expect the Call of Duty title in 2017 will recover in terms of unit sales, followed by a more pronounced recovery in 2018.”

Activision shareholders will be hoping for a rebound in fortunes over the coming months, with the stock plummeting more than 20% since the end of October.

Shares were up 5c to US$37.04 on Friday morning.

Quick facts: Activision Blizzard

Price: $46.66

Market: NASDAQ
Market Cap: $35.79 billion
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