Despite numerous successful Call of Duty titles releasing since its launch, Black Ops 2 continues to be a banner release for Activision. According to a recent report by the publisher, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 still has about 12 million active players in its population, an impressive number to say the least.

Of course, the looming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 on November 6th has a lot to do with Black Ops 2’s increased popularity, but even so the game registered about 11 million players in August. So, a little rudimentary math will tell us that about 1 million players have hopped back on the Black Ops 2 bandwagon in the last two months or so.

What makes the 12-million player stat so impressive is that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is nearly three years old, and has been preceded by Call of Duty: Ghosts and last year’s well-received Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Granted, many hold the Black Ops spin-off franchise in the highest esteem when it comes to COD, but that’s only half of the equation. Let us not forget that Black Ops 2 is also a current-gen release, and therefore is getting work on machines that have very few new releases.

The good news is there will be a PS3 and Xbox 360 version of Black Ops 3, however it won’t have a singleplayer or co-op campaign included. Because Treyarch’s latest is maximizing the processing power of the new consoles, the old consoles seemingly had to cut a few corners. Considering the 12-million player total, though, it appears Treyarch and Activision made a wise choice to drop singleplayer and focus on multiplayer, because clearly that’s where the demand is.

Section in Call of Duty Black Ops 2

Despite the impressive numbers for Black Ops 2, though, we’re left wondering how COD: Ghosts and Advanced Warfare are doing at present time, and whether they have player numbers anywhere close to BO2. Obviously, Activision is focusing on a specific game’s popularity because its sequel is about to release – have to keep those investors excited – but it’s always worth considering where the franchise is as a whole. Call of Duty may still be a juggernaut when it comes to sales, and Black Ops 3 is the most anticipated game of the year, but its popularity has waned in the face of growing competitors like Battlefield and Destiny.

Luckily, we won’t have to wait too much longer to see whether Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 is the game fans have been waiting for, and whether it too can tally massive player numbers. In a lot of ways, this year’s game is major turning point for the franchise, both because of how popular the Black Ops brand is and where we are at with current-gen consoles leaving last-gen in the dust.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 releases November 6, 2015 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Source: Activision (via Charlie Intel)