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Business Analysis Sales-Age Call of Duty Surpasses $3 Billion in Net Bookings Over Last 12 Months as Activision Ignites a New Business Model

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

Activision’s iconic Call of Duty® series has set new franchise records as it shifts to a shared ecosystem business model. Following the record-setting launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the Call of Duty franchise has surpassed over $3 billion in net bookings* over the last 12 months with key performance metrics across engagement and premium game sales at all-time, franchise highs over the period.

Across Call of Duty there is strong momentum. Year-to-date increases include net bookings up over 80% and units sold through up over 40% year over year. Over 200 million people have played Call of Duty this year.** On console and PC, the franchise has delivered the highest number of players in recorded history this year, as well as the biggest November ever for monthly players and hours played.

Black Ops Cold War joined fan favorites Call of Duty: Modern Warfare® and Warzone™ as well as Call of Duty: Mobile in setting new marks across the Call of Duty ecosystem. Black Ops Cold War is the newest entry in the #1 selling series within Call of Duty and a direct sequel to Call of Duty: Black Ops.

The launch of Black Ops Cold War is only the beginning. Additional free, post-release content for all Black Ops Cold War players is on the way as new seasons of content will continue to add and transform both the scope and scale of gameplay, with Season One set to debut this month.

“The momentum over the last year across the Call of Duty ecosystem from free-to-play Warzone as well as post-launch support of Modern Warfare, and now to Black Ops Cold War has been incredible,” said Byron Beede, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Call of Duty, Activision. “This is the next great chapter in Black Ops with an amazing campaign, an all-new zombies experience and of course, high-octane multiplayer. Launch is only the beginning. We are focused on building a continuous pipeline featuring a tremendous amount of free, post-launch content and events across the franchise.”

Call of Duty players can look forward to the biggest series of post-launch free content, community events and ongoing support ever in Black Ops plus close integration across the ecosystem with Warzone. The free-to-play, free-for-everyone Warzone, which has surpassed more than 85 million players since its launch, will take on a new dimension as it integrates with both Black Ops Cold War and Modern Warfare. Season One, coming this month, features brand new content for Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is available now worldwide on PlayStation® 5, PlayStation® 4, the Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One, and on PC, in a fully optimized experience for Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment’s online gaming service. The title is published by Activision, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ: ATVI), and developed by award-winning studios Treyarch and Raven Software with additional development support from Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Activision Shanghai and Sledgehammer Games. For more information visit: www.callofduty.com, or follow @CallofDuty on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Sales figures include Call of Duty retail and digital unit sales and revenues across console, PC and mobile releases; upfront, catalog and digital add-on sales. Units sold include full game sales. Total players and hours played based on Activision data.
 

MrFunSocks

Banned
Jul 9, 2020
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Yeh but do people really want a new Call of Duty every year?

/sarcasm


Gaming forums just showing again how out of touch with reality they are. People like new releases of their favourite games more regularly, shocking. People like to buy micro transactions for games that they like, shocking.
 
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njean777

Member
Mar 12, 2009
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Black Ops is good, and even though I didn't like MW I see the appeal. Warzone created a whole other opening for them to get even more fans. Smart business moves really.
 
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Blood Borne

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Oct 30, 2017
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Yeh but do people really want a new Call of Duty every year?

/sarcasm


Gaming forums just showing again how out of touch with reality they are. People like new releases of their favourite games more regularly, shocking. People like to buy micro transactions for games that they like, shocking.
Agreed. Lots of gamers view the gaming industry through GAF(gaming forums) lens. They forget that they’re the minority.
 

MagnesG

Member
Apr 20, 2019
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It's a good business model when it's free. Only now that they caught though when mobile games had been raking on billions a year no sweat.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
Jun 7, 2004
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B-B-But games are too expensive to make, publishers are gonna go out of business if we don't start paying $70 for new releases.

The ones not adapting to predatory micro transactions and “engagement” over enjoyment might in that scenario yes. You know the time when after buying a game you can just have fun with it without the game being designed to make you buy booster packs (see the FIFA Scripting lawsuit), extra lives, fuel, etc...?
 

TheKratos

Member
Sep 21, 2020
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Yeh but do people really want a new Call of Duty every year?

/sarcasm


Gaming forums just showing again how out of touch with reality they are. People like new releases of their favourite games more regularly, shocking. People like to buy micro transactions for games that they like, shocking.

It's very shocking indeed.
 

EDMIX

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Apr 5, 2018
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Yeh but do people really want a new Call of Duty every year?

/sarcasm


Gaming forums just showing again how out of touch with reality they are. People like new releases of their favourite games more regularly, shocking. People like to buy micro transactions for games that they like, shocking.

Facts. Be like "I hate game, thus no one must have bought it"

My favorite is when someone literally told me that the downvotes on a fucking Youtube video showed that "gamers" didn't like a Call Of Duty game....
 
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ZywyPL

Member
Nov 27, 2018
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B-B-But games are too expensive to make, publishers are gonna go out of business if we don't start paying $70 for new releases.

CoD is actually one of the games where I see the 60-70$ justified - AAA campaign, full-fat co-op, and MP with more maps, game modes and content any other game has ever offered, a full package where each mode could as well be a standalone game.
 
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Lupin3

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Kerotan

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Oct 31, 2018
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That's like half of GTA V's total revenue in a year. I know it includes money from warzone, black ops, modern warfare and all legacy content but it just shows you activision are absolutely raking it in.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
12,067
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COD is basically a theme-park sort of product at this point. People buy it for their favorite "ride" (MP, Zombies, Warzone, etc.) with the rest of it being a fun added-value sort of deal. Its a very successful model.
 

Rolla

Report me for trolling MS/Xbox threads > 06/27
Jan 26, 2020
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I swear there was a thread on gaf recently claiming/asking if COD... Of all things... Flopped!

I mean, hate it or love it shooter-bang-slowmo explosion will always be a spectacle that attracts an audience. Just ask Michael Bay.
 

Miles708

Member
Sep 11, 2019
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has surpassed over $3 billion in net bookings*

If everyone else is wondering what the heck a "net booking" is:

* 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, and includes license fees, merchandise, and publisher incentives, among others, and is equal to net revenues excluding the impact from deferrals.

So, is net cash coming from everything sold in and around the game?
 

chonga

Member
Aug 17, 2020
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Bu... bu.. but Call of Duty cant have set a new record because its a flop.

This is fact. Some Gaffers told me so.

Is Cold War a flop? What’s going on here? | NeoGAF
You do realise this PR piece is mostly boasting about the ecosystem as a whole, right?

Meaning you can have a turd in the sandwich, but still have made the biggest sandwich ever.

You only need to read the opening line of the thread you even link to yourself to see that. Cold War didn't sell as well as typical COD titles. It wasn't as well received and it's chart numbers also way down on expected levels - but Warzone still #1 in those charts.

This is testament to the growth Warzone has provided the franchise.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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Sep 4, 2018
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This is like during the 90s when I was all about alt rock and found out about country music album sales. Normies buy games too.

3 billion damn thats a lot
 

chonga

Member
Aug 17, 2020
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Unless I missed something, the statement in the OP seems to be a lot of words used to avoid mentioning anything about the sales of the new Call of Duty.
Yep. It does. The only positive PR they've put out about Cold War is that it sold better digitally. But when physical sales still made up a big chunk of the last title and physical sales were down over 60% in the UK compared to that it is hard to imagine that sales are not down heavily overall.

Just as you point out - if they were good, they avoid saying so.
 
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T

The New Guy

Unconfirmed Member
COD is basically a theme-park sort of product at this point. People buy it for their favorite "ride" (MP, Zombies, Warzone, etc.) with the rest of it being a fun added-value sort of deal. Its a very successful model.

This sums it up perfectly. There is people out there that only buy a couple of games a year, and CoD is one of those games. They know what they're getting each time. They want that familiar feel with new maps & weapons and some new modes. It's easy to see why they keep pumping out releases every year, they are successful. Even if a vocal minority on the internet doesn't like Call of Duty anymore. We're not really the audience.

I still enjoy it from time to time. I played Warzone because it was free, it was fun enough. I haven't bought a yearly release in a while, but I always had a good time with their Campaigns and Multiplayer. The Campaign is always short, but usually an entertaining blockbuster action movie type of feel.
 

Clear

Deer/Dur
Feb 2, 2009
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This sums it up perfectly. There is people out there that only buy a couple of games a year, and CoD is one of those games. They know what they're getting each time. They want that familiar feel with new maps & weapons and some new modes. It's easy to see why they keep pumping out releases every year, they are successful. Even if a vocal minority on the internet doesn't like Call of Duty anymore. We're not really the audience.

I still enjoy it from time to time. I played Warzone because it was free, it was fun enough. I haven't bought a yearly release in a while, but I always had a good time with their Campaigns and Multiplayer. The Campaign is always short, but usually an entertaining blockbuster action movie type of feel.

I think they'll do well with Zombies this year because certainly Die Maschine is way more accessible than anything in the last few years. Some buddies of mine got me into it a few years ago and although I took to it over time, initially my reaction was why the fuck is this thing so obtuse! This so-called "Easter Egg" is actually a little mission with a trophy and everything, so why make it so damn difficult to figure out how to complete it!

This year they do the unthinkable and actually clearly signpost much of it, which is great because most of the fun is figuring out how to do the steps optimally so as you/your crew aren't trying to complete them on high-rounds where the enemies are so tough and numerous.
 
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