Cowen & Company analyst Doug Creutz is saying something publicly that must be music to Activision's ears: what critics say about Call of Duty: Ghosts does not matter. Speaking to GII, Creutz says that latest title in the series is "somewhat review-proof."
"We think [Call of Duty] has become such an embedded franchise that it is somewhat review-proof," said Creutz to GII.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is getting an average score of 74 out of 100 on review aggregator Metacritic right now, but Creutz thinks it doesn't matter, saying "we think of [Call of Duty] as being like EA's Madden NFL, which continues to sell similar unit numbers year in and year out, regardless of reviews; Madden's Metacritic has ranged as low as 78 in recent years." He also points out that Battlefield 4 isn't exactly bringing in the best scores either.
Creutz does see next-generation titles like Titanfall and Destiny having the potential to disrupt the market in the future.
"Our concern lies more with next year, when Call of Duty will face competition from several new next-gen shooters, including EA's Titanfall and Activision's own Destiny," he said. "To the degree that Call of Duty may become a bit of a 'been there done that' experience for gamers, we think it is vulnerable to losing share as new product enters the market; even if a lot of that share goes to Destiny, as a third-party title it will carry a lower margin for [Activision], and we think bullish 2014 EPS estimates assume Destiny will be more incremental than cannibalistic."