2017 will be an exciting year for gamers across all platforms. But industry analysts are already struggling over one prediction: will Red Dead Redemption 2 or Call of Duty be the best-selling game of 2017?

Call of Duty is a best-selling game every year. Love it or hate it, Call of Duty continues to top the charts – even after experiencing slipping sales figures in recent years.

As testament to the appeal of Call of Duty, last year’s Infinite Warfare was still the best-selling game of the year – even though it had lower sales figures than the previous year’s Black Ops 3.

The fact is: Call of Duty leads sales charts every year. The last year that Call of Duty didn’t top sales charts was in 2013, when Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto 5.

When you consider the titles that have been released since then, you can see why it’s so hard to top Call of Duty: major blockbusters releases in the Battlefield series, Battlefront, and Destiny all failed to knock Call of Duty from its perch.

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Will Red Dead Redemption 2 give Call of Duty a run for its money?

Could Red Dead Redemption 2 Beat Call of Duty?

The original Red Dead Redemption sold 13 million copies. For Red Dead Redemption 2, analysts are predicting 15 million sales – although according to Forbes, these analysts admit that expectation “might even be conservative”.

Selling 15 million units is impressive, but it likely won’t be enough to beat Call of Duty. Battlefield 1 sold around 15 million units last year, which wasn’t good enough to beat Call of Duty in the United States or in the UK. FIFA did, however, beat Call of Duty in the UK.

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It’s estimated that Infinite Warfare sold 15 to 20 million copies, which was actually significantly lower sales than Black Ops 3, but still enough to top the list for the year.

Some other reasons to give Red Dead Redemption 2 a fighting chance include:

  • We know nothing about the new Call of Duty, but the game appears to be running on creative fumes. There are only so many mixtures of “advanced” “warfare” “black” and “ops” you can put in your titles before people start getting bored.
  • People underestimate Red Dead Redemption. Because RDR was never released on PC, it has widespread popularity that’s under-represented in sales figures. If the game had been released on PC, it would have sold millions more copies.
  • This is the first real sequel to Red Dead Redemption. You can argue that RDR was a sequel to Red Dead Revolver, but RDR 2 will be the first major sequel in the franchise.
  • GTA V has an enormous fanbase that continues to be loyal to Rockstar. That fanbase will likely be very interested in RDR2.
  • People are burned out on military shooters, but not on cowboy games. Call of Duty games have all started to blend together. Cowboy games like Red Dead Redemption, however, continue to feel fresh. They haven’t been done to death over the years.

Why Call of Duty Could Still Win

Alternatively, the next Call of Duty could blow expectations out of the water.

Based on the success of Battlefield 1, gamers have shown an interest in going back to the battlefields of the First World War. Could Call of Duty bring the series back to World War II, explore a new concept with WW1, or even travel to Vietnam?

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What about something totally new – like the US Civil War? Call of Duty: Gettysburg, anyone?

We’ll have to wait until later this year to find out. Red Dead Redemption 2 is scheduled for release in fall 2017, while Call of Duty will likely come out in November 2017.

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