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 Call Of Duty: Black Ops  Hits Sales Of $650M In First Five Days
Call Of Duty: Black Ops Hits Sales Of $650M In First Five Days
November 18, 2010 | By Kris Graft

November 18, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops generated $650 million in sell-through revenue in its first five days, publisher Activision said Thursday, citing internal estimates.

The military shooter, released on November 9, is tracking ahead of 2009's hit Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which held Activision's previous five-day worldwide sell-through record of $550 million. Modern Warfare 2 was developed by Activision-owned Call of Duty franchise creator Infinity Ward.

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said that the success of the game "illustrates the mass appeal of interactive entertainment," as sales figures eclipse not only video game sales records, but also opening five-day sales of theatrical box office and book releases in terms of sell-through dollars.

The exec added, "The number of people playing online and the number of hours they are playing demonstrates how online gaming has become a mainstream form of entertainment and certainly validates Activision Blizzard's leadership role in online entertainment."

Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, formerly CEO of major advertising firm Deutsche, Inc., added that "Treyarch delivered a truly awesome game, and in the process have established themselves as one of the most talented developers in the world."

Treyarch is also the development studio behind games including Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty 3, and non-Call of Duty games including James Bond 007: Quantum of Solace and Spider-Man: Web of Shadows.

Despite those strong initial sales, Activision is waiting to see if the game has legs, as the publisher stated, "given that it is still very early in the holiday shopping season, the company remains cautiously optimistic."

Analyst Colin Sebastian with Lazard Capital Markets is optimistic of continued strong performance for the game, already concluding that the game has "legs." "We believe that the title is on track to exceed our 4Q unit shipment estimate of 16 million units," he said in a research note following Activision's sell-through announcement.

Activision and Microsoft also said that the game set two new records for online gaming on Microsoft's Xbox Live: There were over 5.9 million multiplayer hours logged in for Black Ops by the end of the title's opening day, and over 2.6 million unique gamers played the game on day one.

Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO Jack Tretton also called Black Ops "an incredible success" on PlayStation 3, while retailer GameStop's CEO J. Paul Raines said it's the company's "biggest video game launch ever, which bodes well for game sales as we enter the holidays."

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Gamin Geek
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Get ready to be inundated with yet more military FPS shooters. Seems like they are the only thing that sells well on HD consoles anymore.

John Paul Zahary
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I have to say that I do love the game and what Treyarch brought to the table. I am happy that they are getting success and some respect.

It is very unfortunate what has happened with Infinity Ward, however, I will not let Treyarch be tarnished for that dealing.

Gamin, I do agree with you though. There are so many games that do get overlooked - for me, imo, the new Castlevania was excellent, however, a commenter stated that it did not even crack the charts.

Gamin Geek
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Castlevania is an excellent game that took a shellacking from the gaming press. Too many of them dubbed it an inferior "God of War clone." By this logic they should be also piling on the Call of Duty/ Medal of Honor series for being a Doom/Quake/ Half Life derivative.

Basically you can make umpteen million FPS games in the same mold but if you try it with and action title you will be cast aside.

Eric Geer
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Castlevania was good---but probably one of the more frustrating games I've played this year. It was fun for a while--but I don't think I've cursed so much playing a game as I have playing Lord of shadows--

I'm not sure it was a clone so much as a different game that uses various aspects of other games to bring something a bit fresh to the table--I'm glad they did too because God of War holds no interest to me--just doesn't look fun and havent played it--and Kratos--oh how i hate looking at your red and white face.

Adam Miller
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Though it's more the case with games like Falout: New Vegas and Assasin's Creed: Brotherhood, it's interesting how well these glorified expansion packs are selling. I'm not ragging on the developers here -- they put a ton of effort into these titles, and Black Ops reworked the engine quite a bit -- but it's effectively like selling game for $120 dollars, or maybe like selling 1.5 games for that much.

Eric Geer
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You could probably push this argument across all sequels.

2D Mario Games for example----they don't really provide anything new--its just a few new mechanics--that alter the gameplay just enough that it seems fresh.

What about any of the brawling/fighting games--whats really new about any of them? Graphics and occasional characters?

Every sequel is basically a glorified expansion pack.

Anonymous Designer
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Which makes the "Just an expansion pack" argument a bit antiquated. If there are now more sequels that are "like an expansion pack" than there are actual expansion packs, which one is definitive?

The thing about sequels is they let you take the same engine and make it more polished and provide more content. People seem to like that. They seem to like it more than "new" games that lack that polish and re-playability.

David Fisk
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and with all that money activision shut down budcat...

Lo Pan
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Take that Avatar!

Matt Cratty
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This is why I am exclusively on the PC.

I'm clearly not their target audience and never will be.

Banksy One
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They are succeeding in a minority group of men and boys that play video games. They are marketing to the (alpha) males largely through noise marketing (buying as much press coverage as possible). Press and publisher, one hand feeding the other. Edge magazine, I saw that last feature of yours, with your 'biggest game of the year' feature on Black Ops, and your Bobby Kotick interview.

It was wrong to call if the biggest game of the year, because it is misleading, and misleading people is wrong! I know you're being misleading because every month or so theres a new biggest game of the year (like wasnt Bayonetta your game of the year?). This is what i'm saying, theres this channel of communication, and its like a poisoned stream. Not enough people are doing anything about it on the inside, too many people polluting. Whats the result? The result is that we must make games for large developers with large marketing budgets. IS this right? Should we let go of our past so quickly? The average price of a game drops by 1/2 after its first month in retail. Why such a short life?

I think of all these inventions, the STI games like Comix Zone, Dices Mirrors Edge, the original Gameboy, PCBs, Neo Geo cartridges, and the Phillips CDi. If it wasn't for fans, most of these memories would be stored away in the darkest corners of the internet as forgotten history. Like they keep old animals in zoo's, they cage their products lock and key. Aren't some animals just amazing though, where caging them seems so wrong? Did you know that many elephants actually bury and mourn for their dead relatives? They have even been known to protect other animals sometimes that arent even their own species (including humans).

Then there are the abandoned dogs. Wolves are genetic ancestors to dogs, and some dogs after getting abandoned by their owners were put out on the streets. After a short time they slowly started turning back into wolves, their tails stopped wagging, and they spent their evenings hunting small prey. They worked in collectives, and there was almost always a leader who exhibited a special intelligence, a fusion of the benefits of being both a wolf and a domestic animal. The packs were organized into sub groups, and some of the dogs (called beggars) were able to manipulate humans into giving them food.

Bobby Kotick is a pack head, working in a harsh system. Much like the heads of the informal publisher (torrent sites), I dont think either of them feel very content in the spaces they're in, i believe they often feel threatened and are constantly strategizing in order to maintain their wolfpack. There is this whole world of gamers that are working to the same ends. I see them on, either watching Black Ops, or playing illegal Roms. They are hostile and merciless, or just plain deluded about their loyalties. They dont see a world bigger than their wolfpack. Its a symptom of a harsh climate. Most next gen games dont break even. It irks me, and head game designers must sometimes feel suicidal (if they are honest with themselves).

I would suggest a solution, a link to a website that solves all of these problems, but i can only give fragments of help. I would support independent cloud based gaming networks. Console Classix is the only one i'm aware of. I'd do it right now, give them a bit of money and see where the road goes. I'd also start streaming old games on If you guys have any other suggestions maybe post them here, or on Console Classix facebook? (I dont work for them, i'm just a longtime fan of their work).

Peace and love.