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Activision has tapped into the buzz generated by the NBA Playoffs to debut the first teaser trailer for its much-anticipated shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. The new game for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC will ship on November 13, 2012 from Los Angeles-based developer Treyarch.
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The trailer reveals that the new game is set in 2025, which propels the bestselling Call of Duty franchise into the future for the very first time. The original Black Ops game was set in the 1960s and ‘70s after the series made its debut in World War II. Black Ops is a separate series from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which is developed by Los Angeles-based Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games for Activision. Each year, Activision rotates between releasing a new version of each franchise. Modern Warfare 3 was released last November and went on to become the biggest launch and biggest game of 2011.
Michael Pachter, a video game analyst at Wedbush Morgan Securities, expects Black Ops 2 to become another blockbuster hit for Activision.
“We modeled 20 million units sold for Black Ops 2 for the holiday period this year,” said Pachter. “Black Ops 1 sold 17 million at holiday, 8 million over the succeeding 6 months. Modern Warfare 3 sold 20 million at holiday.”
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The move from historically set warfare to future combat is a smart business decision, according to Pachter.
“I think it’s smart to mix it up,” said Pachter. “The average Call of Duty player is looking for something new every year, so moving it to the future makes it more exciting for most.”
Gamers will also get a taste of future combat this month with the release of Ubisoft’s Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which ships for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on May 22 and PC in June. That third-person perspective shooter will send players to global hotspots in a near future setting utilizing actual weapons being designed by the U.S. military.
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Electronic Arts will be sticking with modern warfare with its Medal of Honor: Warfighter game, which hits retail stores October 23 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. That game is being developed by Los Angeles-based Danger Close and will broaden the global war on terror by introducing new Tier 1 operators from militaries around the world. The game will feature missions set in multiple countries including Somalia and the Philippines.
“Medal of Honor is playing catch up, period,” said Pachter. “I think that it isn’t likely to make as big of a dent in Call of Duty sales as EA’s Battlefield 3 did last year, so I don’t really think we should have expectations for Medal of Honor to do as well. The game will likely sell 8 million units, and it will be impossible to know whether the sales were impacted by Call of Duty or not.”
One thing’s for sure, there’s another epic battle brewing this fall. And although the warfare is virtual, the money generated by these huge franchises is real.
Watch the trailer below.
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