According to findings reported by Sterne Agee financial services firm, Battlefield 3, the hotly anticipated modern war shooter from developer Dice, has officially reached the milestone of 1.5 million pre-orders.
Arvind Bhatia, an analyst for Sterne Agee, stated that EA revealed the number earlier on in the week and that the publisher is confident that the game will receive huge sales. Well, if the game already has 1.5 million copies sold before it has even been released, then I think it will do ok.
According to a statement released by Bhatia, "Management remains optimistic that the title has potential to exceed sales of its predecessor (which was Battlefield: Bad Company 2, not Battlefield 2) which has sold 9.5 million units life-to-date." In addition to that, Bhatia also says that EA is also optimistic that the game will be able to keep up with its only real contender, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
"The combined marketing dollars for BF3 and Call of Duty: MW 3 could reach $100 million this year," Bhatia added. "The two weeks head start for BF3 versus CoD will facilitate a big launch for BF3. Once CoD launches, there would be a natural slowdown in sales of BF3. Then, at holiday, momentum for BF3 should rebuild. BF3 is expected to have a long tail as more digital content is introduced over time."
One factor that could be fueling the large pre-order sales is the fact that anybody who pre-orders the game is automatically upgraded to the Limited Edition game, which includes a free map pack for online multiplayer. Map Packs generally cost anywhere from $15 to $20, so the inclusion of a free one is definitely a strong incentive to gamers.
This holiday season will be one of the first times a Call of Duty game has an actual opponent in sales. Call of Duty generally dominates the genre of war-simulating first-person shooters, though Battlefield 3 has some very impressive features that could very well dethrone Call of Duty entirely.
I am personally more excited for Battlefield 3 myself. While I am a huge fan of the Modern Warfare series, I was totally blown away by the multiplayer in Battlefield: Bad Company 2. The gigantic maps, tactical role-based gameplay and ability to drive vehicles, such as helicopters and tanks, around the battlefield was pure bliss.
Battlefield 3 is taking all of that and introducing things like jets and other types of vehicles to further enhance gameplay. Add completely destructible environments in both single player and multiplayer and you bring something to the table that has rarely ever been done, and even more rarely, ever been done properly. Call of Duty is going to have its hands full in the next couple of months and Activision needs to bring all its guns to the table locked and loaded.
Battlefield 3 hits the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 25, 2011.
Source: IGN - Battlefield 3 Reaches 1.5 Million Preorders