It’s clear that Call of Duty is one of the top gaming franchises of all time, and since its launch back in 2003 has sold millions of copies worldwide. Games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops are amongst the best selling of all time. Actually, Modern Warfare 3 surpassed the $1 billion mark back in 2011, proving how much gamers have fallen in love with the series.
Of course, as has been the case every year for more than a decade, Activision released a new Call of Duty game this year.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War went back to the Cold War era to deliver frenetic single player action in its campaign, a zombie story, and hot multiplayer modes like earlier entries did, garnering good reviews in the process. One could argue that this year’s entry simply offered more of the same, but why tinker with a formula that works so well?
As a matter of fact, US company Activision recently revealed on its website that Call of Duty made more than $3 billion US dollars in the last 12 months, surpassing the box office totals of most major motion pictures out there.
Activision also reported other highs for the franchise, such as the fact that more than 200 million people have played Call of Duty in 2020. This includes games sold at retail such as this year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, last year’s Modern Warfare game, the Call of Duty mobile game and Call of Duty: Warzone.
For those not in the know, Warzone is Call of Duty’s answer to Fortnite. It’s a battle royale game in which up to 150 people can take part in an online match, using a variety of weapons and vehicles in order to wipe out the opposition.
Warzone is also part of the reason why Call of Duty has made more than 3 billion US dollars in the last 12 months. Because while Warzone is free to play, Activision monetizes the game via the sale of items such as weapon blueprints, in-game watches and operator skins.
Weapon blueprints are customized versions of the base weapons in the game featuring different paintwork and attachments. Operators are the various characters you can play as in Warzone, and skins (aka outfits) give them a unique look in the game, one way for players to distinguish themselves from the competition.
Warzone is pretty popular right now, with Activision reporting that more than 85 million people are playing the game right now. This shows how much the online multiplayer game has grown since its launch in March this year. It’s not close to the 350 million players Fortnite currently has, but still impressive nonetheless.
Also, Activision said that net bookings have increased by 80 % year to date. Meanwhile, units sold through are up 40 % in the same period. According to the US company, net bookings “is an operating metric that is defined as the net amount of products and services sold digitally or sold-in physically in the period”.
Call of Duty remains a golden goose for Activision, then, meaning we’ll be seeing a new game in the series every year for a while yet. Those who can’t get enough Call of Duty also might have been looking forward to the upcoming movie, even if it looks like it won’t hit cinemas any time soon.
But with the free to play Warzone and this year’s solid Black Ops Cold War game (which will soon get its first season of free content) it’s likely fans of the series are going to have plenty to keep them busy, at least until next year’s instalment comes out that is…