Do you expect Battlefield 3 to beat Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this year? Well, don't shoot the messenger, but that's probably a pipe dream. After all, Call of Duty is one of the biggest franchises not just in video game terms, but entertainment terms.
In a call to investors, Electronic Arts' Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown stated the reality of the situation, outlining what EA expects it can do:
Electronic Arts' Chief Financial Officer Eric Brown doesn't subscribe to the mudslinging. Speaking to investors, he predicts that Battlefield 3 will do well, but won't be able to achieve the numbers Activision's competing franchise has produced. "Just to be clear, the [Call of Duty] franchise did about 23 million units worldwide. We don't expect to surpass them with this year's Battlefield 3, just to be very clear," he said.
"We expect to grow unit sales of Battlefield 3 over its predecessor title, Battlefield: Bad Company 2," Brown told investors. "I think there's going to be a lot of great choice for consumers. I think we're going to see a lot of dual purchases as well. FPS fans, I think, are likely to purchase and play both titles to debate the merits, the pros and cons of one versus the other."
Really, it's not a lack of faith in the product -- just solid data. Overall, Call of Duty is the much bigger franchise, having sold a recorded 102 million units to Battlefield's 30 million, year-to-date. That means Battlefield doesn't even sell as well as Harry Potter, Halo, or the WWE Smackdown vs. Raw games.
Still, expect comparisons to be drawn as soon as both games have had a week to sell. Arguably, the fanbases have never been more "at each other's throats" before this. Just saying, there will be blood.