Call of Duty continues to break entertainment sales records

4 min read
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Kotick

Last weekend, a new Call of Duty was released. By now, everyone is over that franchise, with what seems like eleven and five and twenty and four hundred (I got maths lessons from Jacob Zuma) sequels since it hit the really, really, really big time with Call of Duty: 4: Modern Warfare, right? Well, no.

It’s still a juggernaut, and one of the most enduringly popular game franchises on the planet. Over the weekend, Black Ops 3 has sold through $500 million US worth of product. That’s sold to customers and not in to retail channels, which makes it doubly impressive for a weekend – and gives Black Ops the honour of being the year’s biggest entertainment launch weekend for any medium.

Call of Duty‘s millions of passionate fans have shown us, yet again, the strength of their commitment to this enduring franchise,” said Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Executive Officer, presumably rubbing his nipples with $100 dollar notes. “Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch this year in any medium, and bigger than any theatrical opening weekend ever.”

But it’s not just about sales. It’s also about user engagement, which is the now popular metric usually used by people who aren’t selling games as well as they used to.

“The Call of Duty: Black Ops III launch is bigger than any game, any movie, or any entertainment launch this year. But more importantly, our fans are engaging more deeply with the franchise than ever before. In fact, so far, people are playing Black Ops III for more hours per player than any Call of Duty game on record,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, mentally thinking about the huge bonus he’s likely to receive at the end of the financial year. “Call of Duty is more than a game, it’s a year round passion for a growing base of millions of fans and it’s only gaining momentum.”

Sony’s pretty chuffed with its new Call of Duty co-marketing. PlayStation, they say is now the place to play Call of Duty.

“As we‘ve said from the start, PlayStation is the best place to play Call of Duty, and this record-breaking launch shows how true this statement is. Black Ops III is the biggest launch of the year so far, and the PlayStation Nation is ready. We’re proud to call PlayStation the home of Call of Duty and look forward to supporting our community with DLC map pack content first,” said Adam Boyes, VP of Publisher and Developer Relations, Sony Computer Entertainment America.

And they’re probably right. The game has set a record on the PlayStation 4 “as the best-selling digital full game by units sold in its first day of availability in PS4 history.” It’s also sold pretty well on the Xbox One – but not on PC, because nobody really buys Call of Duty on PC anymore, folowing years of terrible ports.

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I have no idea what that means as a figure of units sold, but it seems that Activision can safely assume that the franchise is still a healthy one. Call of Duty games still have long, long sales tails (people are still regularly buying Ghosts and Advanced Warfare), so it’s set to earn them stacks of money for the foreseeable future.

Last Updated: November 12, 2015

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I’m old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time – they were capable of being masterpieces. I’m here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • miaau

    So, game of the year on sales alone is this game, then?

    Honestly, of the two big games I have played this year (WC3 and DA:I – last year?), neither hit that totally sweet spot, as both were too long. I did not feel completely wowed. In other years, it sort of makes sense to me for my own personal GOTY. This year? Based on play numbers alone, it may by Kotor 1, Civ Beyond Earth (not sure I like it….)or WC3.

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      But Wing Commander 3 is ancient.

      • miaau

        True. BUT, if you look past the poor graphics, 2d game-play and ridiculous difficulty levels of some missions, it has FMV!!!!

        Also,

        http://www.wcsaga.com/

      • schitsophrenic-toothbrush

        Ah yes good old fashioned wing commander

      • Frik van der Hewerskink

        He is talking about Warcraft 3 dude

        • miaau

          another good one!

      • WitWolfy

        Totally got to play that again.

    • SC2 so far is amazeballs.

    • Mossel

      Play Life is Strange! That hit the spot for me. Excellent game!

      • The ending was …. poorly received by myself.

        • Mossel

          I rather liked it. The final episode overall was a bit boring though. But ep 3 and 4!! OMFG! O_O

          • I agree. 1 was still finding its feet. 2 set up the plot.3 and 4 really beefed out the story and the first half of 5 was pretty damn good. Then it all went downhill pretty fast. Personally I think they did not stick the landing. Still a very good game though.

  • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

    “presumably rubbing his nipples with $100 dollar notes”

    This^^

    • oVg

      He actually ended up on the board for Coca Cola and acted alongside Brad Pit thanks to his foresight that making videogames will eventually win out.

      Bobby Kotick FTW (The Richard Branson of games)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Kotick

      • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

        That is impressive!

        • oVg

          Still love to hate him 😛

  • Pieter Kruger

    Brostation 4, pew pew pew! ????

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      Sony Pewnies!

    • oVg

      That just proves how many 360 to PS4 converts there actually are.

      • Gardos

        I’m a PS3 to XB1 convert. :/

        • Hammersteyn

          LOL oops

      • Hammersteyn

        bingo

  • Hammersteyn
    • HairyEwok

      Poor Gaben 🙁

  • HairyEwok

    I just grinned when i saw Fallout 4 has a peak of 444 825 players and Black Ops 3 a peak of 63 681 on PC

    • Hammersteyn

      XD

    • As I said, nobody busy CDd on Pc anymore. Too many kak ports, year after year, has driven PC gamers elsewhere.

      • HairyEwok

        It’s driven them to the sandbox XD

        • Mossel

          It’s driven them to Battlefield!

      • Mark Treloar

        Yet i’m sure that still more players than the last COD had

        • Mossel

          Yeah that’s like twice as much. Which is actually pretty good.

    • Mossel

      60k is actually not that bad considering the last two had peaks at 20-30k…and after 3 months <10k

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  • oVg

    This proves that there are more casual gamers than hardcore gamers.

    • WitWolfy

      Cant help but see every new COD becoming more Titanfall each year.

      • Hammersteyn

        Cant wait for titans then

      • Pieter Kruger

        Nothing wrong with that, Titanfall is excellent!????????????

        • WitWolfy

          Not hating, just something I noticed.

          • Sageville

            In order for me to win a competition, the next COD better be set on a Lunar Mining colony with variable gravity.

  • Pieter Kruger

    Just remember folks, reporting $500m worth of product sold is considered “deceptive” by Lazygamer, watch out for their follow up article ripping Activision and Sony new ones…….????

    • Mark Treloar

      Except this article states it as product sold to customers, whereas the article you are referring to, was a sales to retailers which is deceptive. So not likely to be a follow up this time around.

      • Pieter Kruger

        You are wrong, the whole article was about MS being deceptive by not mentioning specific units sold and only using total amount from launch(including bundles, special editions etc. exactly what happened here!)! But you’re right, there probably won’t be a follow up because………Sony!

        • Hammersteyn

          Actually Bobby Kottick mentioned $500m and this is on all platforms and not just Sony. Yes Sony had a thing to say but MS wont. You know why? All the attention needs to stay on Halo 5 because it’s an exclusive.

          • Pieter Kruger

            I know, but that’s besides the point won’t you agree? What’s good for the goose……????

          • Hammersteyn

            Personally I would have saved the argument for an article about Sony and Battlefront 3 sales.

    • Sageville

      Nah, “deceptive” only if you flub the figures like Microsoft did.

  • WitWolfy

    They’re not getting my money, thats for sure.

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