Activision’s introduction of subscription service Call of Duty: Elite may cause a small amount of gamers to "defect" to rival shooter Battlefield 3, reckons Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter.
Writing in a research note, the outspoken analyst said the firm expects Electronic Arts’ military blaster to perform strongly, and feels Activision shares might start to feel the pressure should Battlefield 3 score big with critics.
Said Pachter: "we expect EA's game to perform exceedingly well, eclipsing the 6.5 million units sold by [Battlefield: Bad Company 2], and think that Activision's introduction of Call of Duty Elite (its premium subscription service) could cause a small number of loyal Call of Duty players to defect to EA's game."
"While we think that Activision's 2011 Call of Duty sales have the potential to eclipse last year's mind-boggling 20 million units, due primarily to the network effect created by the game's remarkable 17 million weekly active unique online players, we think that the company's shares may come under pressure when EA's game is launched, particularly if Battlefield 3 receives a 90+ Metacritic score."
Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be hitting stores on October 25 and November 8, respectively.