Analysts: Modern Warfare 2 to make up fifth of game sales

When the NPD releases its video game sales data this week for November, it expects the latest Call of Duty release to account for the lion's share of the software sales.

Although everyone knows that Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is a major hit, I'm not quite convinced that the impact it has had on the video game industry has been felt quite yet. Perhaps that will change with the expected release Thursday of NPD's gaming sales figures.

According to market-analyst Evan Wilson from Pacific Crest, November video game software sales should come in at about $1.45 billion. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter said he expected November sales to be a bit higher, tallying $1.55 billion in sales.

But it was Modern Warfare 2 that captured the spotlight of both analysts' predictions for November game sales. Wilson said the game's developer Infinity Ward likely sold 5 million units in the U.S. alone during November. Pachter expected NPD to report 6 million units were sold during the month.

Pachter went on to say in his report that Modern Warfare 2 would make up a whopping 22 percent of the industry's video game sales for November. He expects it to be followed by Super Mario Bros. Wii, Assassins Creed II, and Left 4 Dead 2, in a distant second-, third-, and fourth-place, respectively.

Wilson was a little more optimistic about the importance of Modern Warfare 2 to the industry's sales figures. He said that he expects the new Call of Duty game to make up 25 percent of all sales during the month.

"Modern Warfare 2 comprises an estimated 25 percent of this month's industry sales," Wilson wrote. "While this is not out of the ordinary for a tent-pole title in a non-holiday month, it is impressive given our forecast that this November's sales will match the month's highest historical total on record. For comparison, Halo 2 reached 20 percent of industry sales in November 2004. The next highest share taker was Guitar Hero III at 12 percent in November 2007."

That's some awfully nice company to be in for any game. And if the analysts' estimates are correct, it could be a record-breaking month for one of 2009's biggest releases.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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