I guess if there is one benefit of pushing out another installment of a yearly franchise as popular as Call of Duty is that eventually critics and review scores don’t matter because the game will still sell millions due to the horde of mindless sheep who will buy it anyways, according to Doug Creutz of Cowen & Company (He didn’t actually call them “sheep”).

“We think CoD has become such an embedded franchise that it is somewhat review-proof,” he said. “We think of CoD as being like EA’s Madden NFL, which continues to sell similar unit numbers year in and year out, regardless of reviews; Madden’s Metacritic has ranged as low as 78 in recent years.

“Given that CoD changes only incrementally from year to year, we think reviewers have become increasingly less likely to give very high review scores due to a certain degree of ennui with the franchise.”

If there is one thing that might be a problem for Call of Duty, however, it is competition from next-gen shooters such as Titanfall and Bungie’s Destiny.

“Our concern lies more with next year, when Call of Duty will face competition from several new next-gen shooters, including EA’s Titanfall and Activision’s own Destiny,” said the analyst.

“To the degree that Call of Duty may become a bit of a ‘been there done that’ experience for gamers, we think it is vulnerable to losing share as new product enters the market; even if a lot of that share goes to Destiny, as a third party title it will carry a lower margin for ATVI, and we think bullish 2014 EPS estimates assume Destiny will be more incremental than cannibalistic.”

Source: Game Industry