Investment specialist Piper Jaffray has revealed the sales and revenue expectations for this year’s biggest games, confirming that it expects both Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and Battlefield 5 to outperform Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2.
The big winner for the 2018 calendar is Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which is Piper Jaffray believes will shift 21.5 million copies within its first three months on sale. The worst-case scenario for COD BLOPS 4 is still an impressive 19.4 million units. Basically, Call of Duty’s success is still practically untouchable, regardless of reviews, and they don’t predict that removing the single-player campaign is going to have any noticeable impact whatsoever. It’s expected Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will earn revenues in excess of $1b by the start of 2019.
The second biggest game of the year is expected to be FIFA 19. Piper Jaffray believes 22 million copies of FIFA 19 will be sold by the end of March 2019. This is probably a pretty safe bet as FIFA 19 tends to sell predictable amounts year in, year out. It’s an absolute cash cow for EA and is expected to earn revenue of $913m for EA before even taking into account the microtransactions.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s big competitor is Battlefield V though, which Piper Jaffray has for some reason referred to as Battlefield 6. Presumably, this is to keep an easy continuation from BF4 > BF1 > BFV for investors. Up to this point, Battlefield V has proven hugely controversial, yet the move back to WW2 is predicted to pay off in a big way. It’s predicted that Battlefield 5 will shift 16 million copies by the end of March 2019. It’s some way short of COD BLOPS 4, but these two franchises are now beginning to exist on a level playing field.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is the final point of contention in this market analysis. Piper Jaffray predicts that Red Dead Redemption 2 will sell 15.5 million copies by the end of March 2019, or 17.1m in a best-case scenario. This would mean Red Dead Redemption 2 is set to be outsold by Call of Duty, Battlefield V and FIFA 19, which goes to show just how huge those three franchises are.
We pretty much know for certain Red Dead Redemption 2 won’t sell anywhere near the levels of GTA V. A Western just doesn’t have the same cultural cache or appeal as GTA. However, Red Dead Redemption 2 is undeniably going to be an absolutely huge event and if Rockstar can’t outsell Battlefield V then it’s surely going to be chalked up as a disappointment.