Call of Duty: Black Ops Hype Roundup
You probably know that Call of Duty: Black Ops is releasing next week. If not, you certainly will when the internet is plastered with ads. Yet if you’re not on the hype train yet, there are some news tidbits to get your engines revving.
Sales Forecast: 18 million units and $818 million
Industry analyst Mike Hickey of Janco Partners has predicted that 18 million units of Black Ops will be sold, to a revenue of $818 million. This project isn’t the launch month but more within the first year of the product’s release. Hickey’s prediction is reinforced by Gamestop previously reporting that the game was set to break Modern Warfare 2‘s preorder numbers. Regardless, these predictions are still just shy of Modern Warfare 2‘s sales as of June 2010: 20 million units and over $1 billion in revenue.
Surprise: Another Call of Duty FPS Title Due Next Year
During Activision Blizzard’s earnings report on November 4, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg confirmed another FPS sequel in the Call of Duty series. This is in addition to a Call of Duty MMO being developed in China and, hypothetically, in addition to new in-house Activision developer Sledgehammer Games’ “action adventure” take on Call of Duty. Beleaguered series main developer Infinity Ward is supposed to be working on Modern Warfare 3 per a statement back in May 2010, but Activision would not state which of its developers was handling the new 2011 CoD sequel. Analyst Hickey, referenced in the above story, believes that Sledgehammer has in fact been given the duty of creating Modern Warfare 3, putting doubt into what Infinity Ward would be working on instead.
Call of Duty a “Tribute” to Soldiers
During a Black Ops launch celebration in Santa Monica Thursday evening, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick proclaimed another $1 million dollars would be pledged to Activision’s Call of Duty Endowment, a funding for services that aid transitioning soldiers back into civilian life after their tours of duty are completed. Black Ops‘ success will go a long way in funding this $1 million pledge, and Kotick affirmed his belief that the series is more than just entertainment:
“[Call of Duty is] a tribute to the courage, and the dedication and the sacrifice of those people who defend our nation and our freedom around the world,” Kotick said at the launch party.
“Maybe that’s why our soldiers, our sailors, our airmen and women and marines stationed in all the dangerous places abroad as well as those members of the military at home have embraced it as the number one video game that they play.”
Early Numbers: GoldenEye Surpassing Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition
Regardless the glory of Call of Duty, Wii gamers are thrilled more by Activision’s Bond– at least for now. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg has already been comparing sales numbers, and while GoldenEye 007 has been out for less than a week, it’s already sold more copies than Wii’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Reflex Edition did for the same time period last year. There are some grains of salt we should consider in this story, though: Modern Warfare had released on other systems two years prior to its Wii release, and it also seemed to have a fraction of the internet presence, marketing and pre-release hype GoldeEye has enjoyed.
Mario Red Wiis, DSi XLs and MotionPlus-Integrated Remotes Inbound
I’ve pined for a red Wii ever since I saw the initial hardware mockups (which also included the colors lime green and silver alongside white and black), and now it’s nearly upon us five years later: the limited edition red Wii/Super Mario bundle hits stores on Tuesday for $200. The bundle will include a red Wii, MotionPlus-integrated remote, and a nunchuk, as well as copies of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Wii Sports (not the MP-enabled sequel Resort). Individual MotionPlus-integrated remotes will also be hitting retailers the same day with a $40 price point; no word on what colors, but I hope red will also be available separately. Last, a Mario anniversary-themed red DSi XL will release on Tuesday for $180 and be bundled with Mario Kart DS.
All that said, Wii has limited-to-no support for transferring previously purchased WiiWare and VC content, so I guess Nintendo won’t get my money. Tangentially, if you’re hankering for the $30 Super Mario All Stars Limited Edition collection, you’ve still got a month to wait: that’s not out until December 12, though in Japan, it was included in the red Wii bundle which, according to rumors, is very hard to find.