Activision’s Call of Duty franchise rings up US$3 billion in sales

29 Nov 2009

The first-person shooter classic franchise Call of Duty – spurred on by the success of its latest game Modern Warfare 2, which brought in US$550 million in its first week – has now surpassed US$3 billion in revenues and could emerge as one of the most-viewed entertainment experiences in history.

The franchise of six games which, with the exception of Modern Warfare 1 and 2, has its feet mostly planted in World War II, has surpassed $3 billion in retail sales worldwide, according to The NPD Group, Charttrack, GfK and internal Activision estimates.

Since its first release, the award-winning Call of Duty franchise has sold in excess of 55 million units worldwide.

Breaking records

The latest title in the franchise, Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, recently shattered box-office and video-game records with a worldwide estimated five-day sale through of about US$550 million, establishing the game as the biggest entertainment launch in history.

In recent weeks, Modern Warfare 2‘s launch beat all previous first-and five-day entertainment industry box-office, book and video-game sell-through records. Activision Blizzard has said the game is the largest reported five-day opening worldwide in terms of box-office gross figures, previously held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (US$394 million).

Call of Duty has become one of the greatest entertainment franchises of all time,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, Inc.

“If you consider the number of hours our audiences are engaged in playing Call of Duty games, it is likely to be one of the most viewed of all entertainment experiences in modern history.”

Modern Warfare 2 picks up following the historic events of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the blockbuster title that remains the top-selling first-person action game in history.

By John Kennedy

Photo: A scene from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years