Monday, November 8, 2010

Sorry Mike Hickey... You're Wrong!

Last week, Janco Partners' Mike Hickey predicted that Treyarch Studios' latest shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops, could sell 18 Million units after launching Tuesday, pegging it just shy of MW2's sales. To put it bluntly... He's wrong.

Hickey has severely miscalculated his prediction. How are we so sure? Well let's start with some traditional methodologies: Black Ops has more pre-orders than Modern Warfare 2. By the numbers, on the 360 + PS3, Black Ops has 2.36 Million pre-orders as of the week ending October 30th. MW2 had 2.24 Million at the same time last year. Considering how much more positive Black Ops' PC outlook is than MW2's, we'll just assume Black Ops has higher pre-sales on that platform as well (although, VG Chartz stopped counting PC Pre-Orders for some reason). Also, on multiple occasions this year, various retailers made very ambitious statements regarding Black Ops setting records in both pace of pre-sales, and overall pre-order numbers. "Record Setting" translates directly to "Better than MW2" - Only more objectively, and less sensational. In other words, more sincere.

In light of the above information, what could Hickey's rationale possibly be? The weaker economy? If the economy really had an impact on a title like this, we'd have seen it reflected in the pre-sales...

Now, we're a Twitter-oriented site here, and much of what we base our predictions on comes from less traditional analysis of consumer behavior from Tweets. Later this week we'll reveal some brand-new, one-of-a-kind, can't-find-anywhere-else Twitter analytics to put the final nail in Mr. Hickey's coffin. We wanted to get it on the record before Black Ops launched, however, that we disagreed firmly with Mike Hickey's prediction.

If you're going to be an analyst, you need to A) Get it right, and B) Not just write what you think the media wants to hear. We all know it's fun to put the Modern Warfare's ahead of the other COD entries, and we all know how much the mainstream gaming press likes to regurgitate those "findings" - But it's just not the case this time around.

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