Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg warns investors that the next Call of Duty will sell less than Call of Duty: Black Ops II.
"The Call of Duty franchise continues to set the bar for innovation and we expect the new Call of Duty game in development for 2013 to raise that bar even higher," Hirshberg told investors during a conference call to discuss financial results this week.
"There is increased volatility this year due to the ongoing console transition, which makes predicting the future more challenging than during normal years in the cycle. For Call of Duty, consistent with our past practices, we are planning for the mainline release in Q4 to be down versus 2012."
To be fair, investors and analysts that have been paying attention already know that the trend has been that each new iteration of the Call of Duty franchise seems to do worse than its predecessor. Some call it buyer's fatigue, while others point the finger at the long life cycle of current generation systems. One thing that could change this trend would be for the next Call of Duty game to be available on next-generation consoles systems from Sony and Microsoft – assuming those systems are on track for a release this year.