Activision has announced the Call of Duty franchise as the number two best selling franchise in North America and Europe combined during Q1 of FY ’13, coming in only second to Activision’s Skylanders brand.
Similarly, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was the second best selling game in NA and EU combined during the same quarter.
Looking forward towards the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts this Fall, developed by Infinity Ward, creators of the Modern Warfare series, Chief Executive Officer, President and Director Robert Kotick said during a recent earnings call that the “next Call of Duty game will face a more competitive environment than last year.” He added, “the competitive landscape will likely require us to further increase our sales and marketing investments for our 3 largest franchises, especially in the important holiday season.”
While we have concerns and face uncertainties, we believe our product pipeline for this year and the future is strong, our strategy is sound and our talent is second to none.”
Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin mentioned, “looking to the back half the year, we plan to continue building Call of Duty momentum with the release of Call of Duty: Ghosts on November 5 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. Ghosts will also be available on next gen platforms and will be supported by one of the largest sales and marketing plans in the brand’s history.”
He also touched on a few of Black Ops 2’s other successes, including increased sales over 2011’s Modern Warfare 3 and the well-received, newly introduced microtransaction digital model.
“In Q1 at retail, Black Ops II sales were higher than Modern Warfare 3 sales in the prior year and online multi-player engagement set new records,” he said. “Q1 monthly active users for Black Ops II were up versus Modern Warfare 3 during the same period last year and total monthly active users for the franchise achieved a new Q1 high.”
“In addition to selling map packs, this quarter we introduced an all-new digital model selling micro DLC that lets players personalize, customize and expand their Call of Duty experience. Although still a small contributor to the franchise overall, we’re pleased with our results and most importantly, we’ve struck the right balance between providing items which have real value to our fans, but in no way compromise the core game play experience.”
Along with an aggressive marketing campaign, you can most likely expect the very same microtransaction digital model to sneak its way into Call of Duty: Ghosts next Fall.
Call of Duty: Ghosts, built on a brand new next-generation engine, releases on the PC, Xbox 360, next Xbox, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 this November 5. Look forward to an official gameplay reveal during Microsoft’s Xbox conference on May 21.