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Call of Duty: Black Ops III sees big sales, but franchise could be stalling

Call of Duty: Black Ops III netted $550 million in worldwide sales in three days, according to publisher Activision.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III netted $550 million in worldwide sales (that's sell-through to consumers) in three days, according to publisher Activision.

According to the company, worldwide sales saw a significant increase compared with the previous two years, in which Advanced Warfare and Ghosts made their debut, while digital downloads on current-gen consoles were up by nearly 100 percent.

Player engagement is also purported to be at an all time high, with the publisher saying online players logged over 75 million hours of gameplay in the first three days. 

While those numbers look good on paper, Ben Schachter, an analyst for Macquarie Capital, believes the fact that the Treyarch-developed game took three days to rake in $550 million, compared to Black Ops II, which made $500 million in just 24 hours, indicates the franchise has started to stall. 

"The bottom line is that the press release from Activision tells us that Call of Duty will not be a negative surprise for its Q4 numbers. It also means that Activision is likely to post yet another beat for the quarter overall," said Schachter.

"What's notable, however, is that in 2012 Black Ops II sold-through more than $500 million worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release, according to the 2012 Call of Duty press release. In other words, Call of Duty is still among the top selling titles every year, but full game sales have likely stalled since 2012."

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