Analyst: DJ Hero Pre-Order Activity Weak
Cowen and Company analyst Doug Creutz has lowered his US sales estimates for DJ Hero by over 50 per cent after retail channel checks indicated “weak pre-order activity” for the game.
Officially announced in May and due for release alongside a turntable controller at the end of this month, the game represents an attempt by publisher Activision to spin-off and expand the Guitar Hero franchise into new areas.
While Creutz believes that DJ Hero will become an “important part” of Activision’s music franchise strategy, he said it may “take a few versions” of the game for it to reach its full market potential.
“On DJ Hero, despite some recent positive comments from company management about pre-orders, we remain very cautious about the title’s prospects at launch,” he noted. “A survey of online retailers indicates a demand profile that is well below what we would have expected to see just a few days before launch for a title that was destined to be a big (or even modest) hit. As a result, we are reducing our estimate for DJ Hero Q4 US unit sales from 1.6 million to 600,000, and we are reducing our first year estimate from 2.5 million to 950,000.”
Creutz’s comments were made shortly after Guitar Hero co-founder Kai Huang said that Activision isn’t anticipating a traditional sales curve for DJ Hero.
“We’re not expecting a typical videogame curve where you sell the majority of the units in the first month and then it decays quickly,” Red Octane’s president stated during a panel at the Play Digital Media Conference in Berkeley, according to IGN. “We’re expecting this to be the type of game that may come out of the gate a little bit slower, but continue to grow over time.
“We’ve got a bit of a head start, people have an understanding what music games are, it has the Hero brand on it,” he added. “But at the same time, people don’t know what a DJ game is, they don’t know what you’re supposed to do. Our strategy again is to focus on in-store demos.”