Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 netted Activision $500 million in sales during its first week on shelves, but data suggests the series may be in decline. Leaks from voice recording sessions show that the series will march on with Call of Duty 2013.
The Call of Duty machine rolls on. Even as players settle into the world of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, released just weeks ago, details about the next entry in Activision’s shooter series are starting to sneak out. Lines from one of the game’s main characters were leaked onto the web in November, providing some insight into where the story of the series is going.
The untitled, codenamed Call of Duty 2013 is said takes place in the continuity of Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare games. Siliconera reprinted the scripted lines of a character referred to as “Ben Burke,” which might be a codename rather than a proper name. Lines from the script include:
“This is Sentinel Zero One, successful crypto change on C2 net break, requesting immediate update of blue force picture and status of artillery, over. I have you broken and unreadable, I say again, requesting updates to friendly positons and status of arty support. Do you read, over?”
“Reminds you of Phuket, doesn’t it? Only this time the dust gives you cancer… OK, park yourself and get ready. When this thing kicks off, put a hole in anything that moves.”
Phuket, Thailand was a setting in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, lending further credence to the expectation that Call of Duty 2013 will in fact turn out to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4.
This is the second time in as many months that voice recording plans for the next game in the series have suggested Activision is making Modern Warfare 4. Captain Price voice action Bill Murray said on October 30 that he was meeting with Infinity Ward in early November to discuss the role he’d play in the upcoming sequel. Infinity Ward responded saying that the news wasn’t true and that it hadn’t talking with any voice actors yet.
Activision may be damaging its lucrative Call of Duty brand by producing yet another annual sequel, though. Stern Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said that Black Ops 2 sales suggest that series sales may finally be slowing. “Our checks show initial sales of CoD: Black Ops 2 at some retailers were down as much as 20 percent,” said Bhatia on Thursday, “Subsequently, it appears sales of CoD did pick up a bit over the Thanksgiving holiday. We think the current sales curve suggests CoD: Black Ops 2 sales in its first year could ultimately be down 10 percent to 15 percent year-over-year.”