There's no doubt that Activision Blizzard
Even Toys "R" Us joined GameStop
Still, despite a promising start for Black Ops, there are more than a few reasons for Activision Blizzard shareholders to temper their enthusiasm over today's release:
- Even if Black Ops is a hit -- which seems all but certain -- keep in mind that it will be pitted on the earnings calendar against last November's release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which broke initial sales records.
- Industry sales have been generally sluggish, so momentum isn't in Activision Blizzard's favor. Gamers are spending less on conventional games.
- Activision Blizzard may have dodged a bullet when Electronic Arts'
(Nasdaq: ERTS)rival shooter Medal of Honor received mixed reviews last month.
(Nasdaq: MSFT)Kinect rollout sucks gaming dollars out of Xbox 360 owners -- the most popular platform for previous Call of Duty games.
That last point bears fleshing out. Folks aren't just paying $150 for the Kinect motion-based controller. They'll also be shelling out roughly $50 for Kinect-based games. Even in the mad scramble of Black Ops orders last night, half of Amazon's 10 best-selling video game items were Kinect-related.
Black Ops will be a big hit. Unfortunately, Activision Blizzard may need more than a blockbuster, given its recent meandering ways.
Most of Rick's fellow Fools love Activision Blizzard. Where do you stand? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz will admit to still playing video games, though finding time is tricky. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.