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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.

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