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“The chance of them losing sales is very low,” said Mr. Pachter. “The chance of helping sales is probably modestly high because [the game] is more accurate. If the game’s more authentic, then people like playing it more.”

Time will tell what impact Col. North’s involvement will have on the game’s game play, sales, and cultural reception, but here’s a hint: Amazon announced that first-day pre-order sales for “Black Ops II” were three times higher than that its predecessor, “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” and 30 percent higher than that of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” the most pre-ordered game ever.