Sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops spike after the game is added to the list of Xbox 360 titles that are backward compatible on the Xbox One earlier this week.
This week, Call of Duty: Black Ops joined the ever-increasing list of Xbox 360 titles that are compatible with the console’s successor, the Xbox One. Since then, we’ve seen just how popular this six-year-old FPS title really is.
Sales of the Xbox 360 version of Black Ops on Amazon soared 13,400% in the wake of the announcement, according to a report from Videogamer. The budget-friendly Classics reprint of the game also saw a healthy 6,877% jump in sales over the same 24 hour period.
This massive influx meant that the game briefly rose to the number two position on Amazon’s hourly charts, pipping the recently released Doom and snapping at the heels of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. For a game that broke sales records upon its initial release years ago, that’s rather impressive.
However, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, given the recent history of the Call of Duty series. The FPS franchise didn’t make the best transition to the current generation of consoles, and since then there have been signs of a scramble to reclaim the enormous popularity it enjoyed at its peak.
This has come to a head over the last couple of weeks in response to Activision’s strategy in marketing this year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The new instalment takes the series in a brave new direction with a far-future setting — but many fans are more interested in its pre-order bonus, a remaster of 2007’s Modern Warfare.
It seems clear that a large contingent of the series’ most devoted fans would rather return to games from years ago than play its most recent instalment, or even its next entry. Infinity Ward are trying something new with Infinite Warfare, but the concept was met with derision from a large part of the franchise’s fanbase.
As the rival Battlefield franchise gets set to return to the past with Battlefield 1, public response to this year’s iteration of both FPS goliaths couldn’t be more different. It seems that Call of Duty might be facing the wrong direction, and this mis-step could be disastrous for the IP, its developer Infinity Ward, and publisher Activision.
For years, Call of Duty was criticized for not doing enough to mix up its tried-and-tested formula. This year we finally saw something that’s aggressively different — and players would rather go back to Modern Warfare and Black Ops. If Infinite Warfare can’t break through this current wave of fan backlash, it could spell the death of a franchise.
Call of Duty: Black Ops is available now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and PC.