In what’s becoming a November tradition, the latest Call of Duty game is once again the biggest entertainment launch of the year. Activision announced Friday that Black Ops II earned over $500 million in its first 24 hours.
Amazon reports the game, which was just announced this week, is on track to become the most pre-ordered game in its history, outpacing Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops and…um, well, a bunch of other Call of Duty games.
There’s little doubt that today’s launch of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” will set new entertainment industry records for first week revenues. But to put things in perspective, here are a few numbers – some hard, some estimated by analysts –showing how big of a monster this franchise has turned into.
Retail software sales posted impressive growth over 2009 numbers, marking the first time the industry has posted back-to-back gains this year.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops” could lead the video game industry to its second consecutive month of year-over-year retail sales gains. If so, that will be the first time this year the sector has managed to pull off that feat.
Activision today announced the latest installment in its multibillion dollar franchise has generated sales of $650 million in its first five days on shelves – an 18 percent (and $100 million) improvement over last year’s “Modern Warfare 2”. That makes the game the highest opening entertainment property – of any sort – in history.
Activision’s latest “Call of Duty” game continues to set records for the company. The video game publisher announced Thursday that in its first five days on store shelves, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” has generated sales of $650 million.
That’s $100 million better than last year’s “Modern Warfare 2,” which set a new bar for the video game industry — as well as the entertainment industry at large. Activision claims the opening is the biggest ever for any movie, book or video game.
[Gamasutra editor-at-large Chris Morris looks forward from the tumultuous midnight launch of Call Of Duty: Black Ops to ask where Activision’s franchise goes from here, examining what Infinity Ward’s shifts mean for 2011’s CoD installment and beyond.]
As bleary eyed GameStop employees recover from last night’s midnight launches and fans begin tearing through Call Of Duty: Black Ops, Activision’s phenomenally successful franchise stands at something of a crossroads.
The fate of Black Ops is hardly in doubt, of course. Pre-orders are already telling us that it will dominate software industry sales this year. And while Activision is publicly saying it doesn’t expect the game to meet Modern Warfare 2’s numbers, several analysts feel that’s just the company taking a conservative stand to protect itself against investor backlash if the numbers really do fall short.
Right now, the odds look pretty good.