Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 22, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 22, 2014
PR Newswire
View All

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

Exclusive:  Black Ops  For Xbox 360 Sells Nearly 5 Million In U.S.
Exclusive: Black Ops For Xbox 360 Sells Nearly 5 Million In U.S.
December 10, 2010 | By Matt Matthews

December 10, 2010 | By Matt Matthews
More: Console/PC

As established earlier this week, the growth in November 2010 U.S. retail video game sales was driven by Treyarch and Activision Blizzard's blockbuster shooter, Call of Duty: Black Ops.

With single-month sales of 8.4 million units across five platforms in the U.S. only, the title not only had the best opening month of any game in American video game sales history, but also leapt to 7th on the all-time best-selling software list.

According to an exclusive NPD Group data breakdown provided to Gamasutra late on Friday, we now know that the Xbox 360 version accounted for 4.9 million units of Black Ops launch month sales in the U.S., while the PlayStation 3 version claimed 3.1 million units.

The remaining versions of the game -- for the Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, and retail sales for Windows PC -- accounted for the other 400,000 units making up the already-confirmed total, with digital sales via outlets such as Steam not taken into account for this total.

Activision itself has not released exact worldwide sales numbers for the title, although it did reveal overall sales of $650 million in the first five days after its November 9th worldwide release.

The roughly 60%/40% distribution of sales on the Xbox 360 and PS3 for the title marks a shift from last year's version, Infinity Ward's Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which opened with a 70%/30% split. However, Modern Warfare 2 also sold fewer copies, just over 6 million, during its opening month.

In fact, the 3:2 ratio of Xbox 360 to PS3 sales for Black Ops closely resembles the ratio of installed bases for those platforms. As of November 2010 the Xbox 360 installed base in the U.S. stands at 23.6 million systems while the PlayStation 3's base is just over 14 million.

The figure below provides the historical trends for first-month sales of Call of Duty games on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 since 2007. It is worth noting that when World at War launched in 2008 it had to compete with Gears of War 2, a hardcore shooter exclusive to the Xbox 360.


Gamasutra's in-depth analysis of the latest NPD Group figures for November 2010 U.S. retail game sales -- including further exclusive data and extrapolations -- will appear on Monday.

Related Jobs

Nexon America, Inc.
Nexon America, Inc. — El Segundo, California, United States

Localization Coordinator
Petroglyph Games
Petroglyph Games — Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at Dallas — Richardson, Texas, United States

Assistant/Associate Prof of Game Studies — Hunt Valley, Maryland, United States

Lead UI Engineer


Michael Scala
profile image
incredible to say the least. im guilty of buying every cod title since "the big red" one a few years back. but the games keep getting better. atleast this has kept me busy rather than halo, which in my opinion was a bit of a letdown.

dan m
profile image
Really to be honest...they are fun games. There might be a lot of criticism about how they all use the same style but yet remain to be engaging and fun. Definitely has a lasting appeal to it, Black ops has by far the best multilayer any CoD has to date. As long as they can keep doing better with each title I will keep buying. But I am looking forward to what Respawn entertainment rolls out...I'm sure the brains behind MW2 will release a CoD killer.

Buck Hammerstein
profile image
ditto, haven't played any form of Capture The Flag since Unreal Tournament days but now that it has been released in Hardcore mode my friends and i are having a renewed interest in this game type.

just waiting on the spawn system being updated, even mixed around so that gamers can enjoy Black Ops even more.

Marc-Olivier Beaupre
profile image
How can you be surprise when you develop the best first person shooter engine and make an addictive game?

The only game that was amazing to me and delivered an experience like ever before was Cal of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare (nuke,boat mission, ending and the addictive and fun multi-player). I haven't bought Black Ops and played the other 3. I'm just not excited when a new one come anymore. It's kind of the same with Guitar Hero. I mean, I bought GH2, GH3, and then I bought nothing else from them, I made the switch to Rockband. I just wish that Homefront and the next MOH with the Frostbite engine will deliver amazing experiences and addictive multi-player. I'm not surprised by those numbers, but I turned the page on Call of Duty's and I prefer playing other games at the moment. I'll give Black Ops a try when it will come cheaper and I'll keep playing Modern Warfare online.

The only thing bothering me with that, it's that gamers are missing great games and wasting too much time on Call of Duty (just watch Xbox Live top 10, 4 COD in top 10). And I believe they will continue to put more COD on the table in the next years with Sledgehammer joining the COD party.

Jerome Beland
profile image
''The only thing bothering me with that, it's that gamers are missing great games and wasting too much time on Call of Duty (just watch Xbox Live top 10, 4 COD in top 10).''

I agree, but considering that FPSs are the most played games online on consoles, choices are small: CoD, Battlefield, Medal of honor and Halo. CoD is easily the easiest one to understand and to play. I personally don't find fun in being shot in the back right after shooting someone else in the back 10 times in 2 minutes, but I do understand why this game is so popular.

Marc-Olivier Beaupre
profile image
It's true, and you can add R6V2 on that list and GoW on the TPS view. CoD is pick up and play and you can play alone. But it's just repetitive and the game feels the same each time with minor differences and that's why I stick to the good old CoD 4 when it comes to online FPS.

But contrary to most CoD gamers, I enjoy a lot of amazing single player experiences and that was my point.

profile image
I've got a lot of sheep to count tonight :)

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
Interesting number but I parsonally find MW2 to be twice as good as both Black Ops and CoD4:MW.

But CoD:WW is behind all them.

Michael Scala
profile image
Homefront does look very cool as well as Killzone. Resistance not too much. Don't et me wrong, it has a cool idea going for it, it just seems like its always not polished enough, and the multiplayer is in my opinion, terrible.

But even the last 2 games mentioned are on their third entry, so I wonder, are these franchises going to be milked as well, or will a new IP be born in the next few years.