Analyst: Gears and God of War prequels 'significantly underperform'

Two console-exclusive "of War" prequels released last month, as both Microsoft and Sony attempt to milk their biggest franchises one more time before the next generation begins. Critical reception for the two titles have been okay (but not great), but sales are likely to fall short of both franchises' last numbered entries.

According to GI.biz, Cowen & Company expects Gears of War: Judgment to sell around 425,000 copies, well short of the two million units sold during Gears of War 3's launch month. God of War: Ascension is expected to sell around 360,000 copies, a far cry from the 1.1 million copies God of War 3 sold in its first month.

A number of factors could contribute to the dramatic drop-off in sales. Both titles serve as prequels to trilogies that have "finished the fight," and may not seem as interesting as proper numbered sequels. Unlike their predecessors, both titles missed the crucial holiday window. Finally, both games received far less of a marketing push.

Perhaps Garnett was right--both these franchises went to the well one too many times.