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Call of Duty sales 'slowing down'

Casual decline blamed for Modern Warfare 3's 4.2% drop behind Black Ops

Annual Call of Duty franchise sales are beginning to slow down, it's been claimed.

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Gamasutra reports that life-to-date sales of 2011's entry, Modern Warfare 3 are behind where 2010's Black Ops was at this time last year, despite the more recent release boasting a stronger debut.

While exact sales figures are not publicly known, analyst firm Macquarie Equities says that Modern Warfare 3 volume sales are behind by around 4.2 percent.

March sales in particular were significantly behind, it's said, with last month's sales of Modern Warfare 3 reportedly less than half the amount Black Ops managed at the same time last year.

Fellow analyst firm PiperJaffray says it believes the Call of Duty decline represents a drop in game purchases from casual players, who it says are now using their game consoles primarily for video streaming and other forms of media.

Webush Securities man Michael Pachter added that March's weak CoD performance could indicate that game sales are becoming more reliant on new releases.

Activision is expected to announce its next Call of Duty instalment ahead of E3 in June.

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