The Call of Duty series may be seeing a sharp decline in sales within the game’s home country. A new report by CNBC reveals physical sales of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare declined nearly 50 per cent compared to Black Ops III in the United States.
CNBC reports that November’s NPD findings also reveal that Call of Duty series sales are down 51 per cent year-over-year, with Cowen analyst Doug Creutz noting that Infinite Warfare “came in 17 percent shy” of analyst expectations. To add insult to injury, Activision Blizzard shares dropped 20 per cent from their mid-October levels, which CNBC suggests is correlated with a drop in Infinite Warfare sales compared to Black Ops III levels. Suffice to say, the Call of Duty franchise has seen better days when it comes to physical releases.
There’s a few complications to CNBC’s report that are worth pointing out. First off, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s drop in sales are only related to physical sales, not digital. As of yet, no official reports have been revealed regarding the game’s digital performance. Digital sales analytics are traditionally underreported in the industry as well, with very few firm statistics on digital releases available to analyze in the market. This means that the info revealed by the 50 per cent drop may simply suggest that the Call of Duty franchise should move towards vigorous digital marketing, but is otherwise performing well. Or Call of Duty should focus on digital pre-orders as opposed to a focus on physical bonuses. Regardless, as brick-and-mortar stores continue to recede, the findings show that even one of the best-selling franchises in video game history cannot compete with the rise of digital media.
CGMagazine reached out to Activision Blizzard for comment, but did not receive a response as of the publishing of this story. Check back as more news develops regarding the Call of Duty franchise’s sales amidst Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare‘s release.