With his pinky to his mouth, CEO of Activision Blizzard Bobby Kotick grinned as he looked to his team and said with satisfaction, ‘1 billion dollars.’ Well, not quite. But, he that what he was thinking, surely.
Today, Activision Blizzard announced that Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has cross the $1 billion mark in worldwide retail sales, according to Chart-Track retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates. Not only is that a lot of money, but it was only achieved within 15 days.
Putting things into perspective, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 reached the $1 billion mark within 16 days last year, while James Cameron’s “Avatar” crossed it in 17 days back in 2009 – the current box office record for featured films.
“The release of Call of Duty® has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years,” said Kotick. “Since Call of Duty was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top-10 grossing films of 2012 combined. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Star Wars,’ the two most successful movie franchises of all time.”
Activision has also indicated that more than 150 million hours have been logged online playing Black Ops 2 on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 since release.
“Entertainment franchises that captivate audiences for as long as Call of Duty has, on the scale that Call of Duty has, are very rare things. And it takes a lot of brilliant people working across many different disciplines to make it happen. It is incredibly humbling and gratifying to be a part of,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “In order for Call of Duty to remain the entertainment juggernaut that it is, and keep our fans coming back for more, we need to continue to bring fresh ideas and new innovations to the table every time, while always staying true to what people fell in love with in the first place. That’s what we did with Call of Duty: Black Ops II, and that’s what we intend to keep on doing. This is an incredible milestone for an incredible franchise, and I want to thank every passionate, talented, committed person on our team who made it happen.”
Oddly, our latest reports indicated that Call of Duty sales were in decline. Specifically, Black Ops 2 sales were down by 15%. Looks like Call of Duty isn’t backing down so easy after all.