Activision publishing CEO Mike Griffith has admitted that the firm isn't expecting this year's Treyarch-developed Call Of Duty 7 to eclipse sales of Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2.
But before you IW lovers get too high and mighty, Activision's caution has nothing to do with the game's developer: It's because the firm expects a tougher set of rival titles will hit shelves in the lead up to Christmas this year.
Modern Warfare 2's dominance of the market is widely seen as the main reason some publishers postponed the release of triple-A releases from Christmas 2009 to the first quarter of this year.
Speaking to investors earlier this evening about Activision's expectations for Call Of Duty 7, however, Griffith forecast that the same situation would not apply in 2010:
"We've consistsently grown the Call Of Duty franchise revenues year-on-year for the past seven years. We expect to continue our stategy of annualising this franchise opportuntiy. At the same time, we recognise that Modern Wardfare 2 was an unprecedented success, driven in part by the game quality, our retail and marketing execution, and by the relatively friendly competitive environment [at Christmas].
"We expect to have a more difficult competitive environment this year, and therefore we've not planned on the same level of success [with 2010's CoD title] as we enjoyed in 2009. That said, we're still bullish on this year's title, and we do see upside potential if we execute well by engaging the much larger set of consumers who were introduced to the Call Of Duty franchise in 2009."
CVG expects the Call Of Duty 7 release date this November.