Breaking news: Call of Duty still hella popular
I know… shocking, right? Activision Blizzard released their quarterly and yearly earnings report today, and 2013 was another very good year for Call of Duty. The latest game in the series, Call of Duty: Ghosts, dominated the sales charts. And last year’s Black Ops 2 continued to perform well. Not exactly news, I know. But there were a few interesting gems buried in the report. Read on for the details.
If anyone is interested, you can read Activision Blizzard’s complete 4th quarter and calender year 2013 earning report here. It’s a thrilling read, if you’re an accountant. Or a really, really, really, reeeeally serious Call of Duty fan. For everyone else, allow me to condense the financials down to a more manageable size. In aggregate across all platforms during the 4th quarter of 2013, Call of Duty: Ghosts was the #1 selling game, both in units and dollars. It’s predecessor, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, still sold enough copies to be the 9th best selling title, in both units and dollars.
Those numbers, while impressive, were a bit off from last year. The performance of Ghosts during that all-important holiday shopping season was 19% behind that of Black Ops 2, year to year. Some of that decline might be due to players holding off on purchasing Ghosts until they had a next generation console. Nonetheless, Activision is taking steps to bring new talent to the franchise. As reported by VG247, during a conference call after the financial report was released, Activision confirmed that they are adding a third developer to create Call of Duty games. Sledgehammer Games, which assisted Infinity Ward in developing Modern Warfare 3, will be fully responsible for the next game in the Call of Duty franchise. The as yet untitled game is still slated for release in 2014, so the strategy of putting out a new Call of Duty game every year won’t be changing. But with the addition of a third developer, Treyarch and Infinity Ward will now have three years of development time in between releases. Hopefully, the extra year’s worth of time will allow them to breathe new life into a franchise which, while still hella popular, is beginning to show signs of slowing down.