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1.5 million Battlefield 3 pre-orders

Review scores "should be at least 80".

EA has received a whopping 1.5 million pre-orders for upcoming first-person shooter Battlefield 3, an analyst has revealed.

That's up from the 1.25 million pre-orders EA reported two weeks ago, IndustryGamers noted.

A pre-order bonus map pack helped boost the figure, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia said. "Note that BF3 will include a map pack if the game is pre-ordered. This $15 to $20 value should be a big incentive for customers to pre-order BF3."

Bhatia expects Battlefield 3 to outsell all other games in the Battlefield series, including the superb Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

"Management remains optimistic that the title has potential to exceed sales of its predecessor (Battlefield Bad Company 2), which has sold through 9.5 million units life-to-date," he said.

The Battlefield Call of Duty showdown is expected to be one of the biggest in gaming history, with both EA and Activision primed to spend millions of dollars promoting both FPS games in the run up to Christmas.

"Critical ratings for BF3 should be at least 80," Bhatia continued. "The combined marketing dollars for BF3 and Call of Duty: MW 3 could reach $100 million this year. The two week head start for BF3 versus CoD will facilitate a big launch for BF3. Once CoD launches, there would be a natural slowdown in sales of BF3. Then, at holiday, momentum for BF3 should rebuild.

"BF3 is expected to have a long tail as more digital content is introduced over time. At peak, BF3 had more than 100 developers. The mix of BF3 should be 60 per cent US and 40 per cent international."