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Analysts: ‘Call of Duty’ exposed to brand switching to shooters like ‘Destiny’

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With the launching of the next-gen consoles Xbox One and PlayStation 4, one analyst group believes shooters like Call of Duty are vulnerable to gamers swapping brand alliances to new IP like Destiny, according to a report today from VG 24/7.

According to analysts from Cowen & Company, Bungie’s upcoming sci-fi shooter Destiny could reach lifetime sales of 10 million, which could help Activision offset the decline in sales with the Call of Duty series.

Sales of the franchise’s latest installment Call of Duty: Ghosts were down 26 percent year-on-year, according to Cowen & Company, and the series could face a half-dozen new shooter IP in 2014, including Activision’s own Destiny and EA’s Titanfall.

“The game was poorly reviewed, which we believe was a culprit in the disappointing performance (which was almost certainly below management’s expectations),” Cowen & Company said in an investor note.

The analysts believe that the market-leading franchise is “particularly vulnerable” and has downgraded the Call of Duty sales estimate for FY14 to 16 million units lifetime.

All is not bleak for Activision, however, as Cowen & Company called the publisher’s collaboration with Bungie on Destiny “the most anticipated title of the year among the gaming community.”

“We expect the game to sell very well, and are modeling 10 million units in lifetime sales, with potentially significant upside,” Cowen & Company said.

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