Not content to merely lay claim to a record breaking launch, nor the highest five day-sales ever, Call of Duty: Black Ops has set its sights on a fresh set of world dominating goals. To that end, Activision Blizzard announced this morning that Treyarch’s celebrated entry in the Call of Duty series has now racked up sales in excess of one billion dollars.

The press release announcing Call of Duty’s record-breaking sales goes on to note that players have poured over 600 million hours into the game since it launched on November 9, 2010. Estimates are that more than half of that playtime has been spent in online multiplayer matches.

Frankly, numbers like that are almost too large to comprehend, so let’s break it down a little, shall we? Black Ops launched 43 days ago. A day is 1440 minutes, so 61,920 minutes have passed since Black Ops was released. A little simple math reveals that the game has generated $16,149 and change in sales every minute that it has been available. It’s probably made that much since you started reading this post.

Furthermore, each of the 1032 real hours that have passed since the game launched are equal to 581,395 hours of playtime, which is a long-winded way of pointing out that well over a half million people have been playing Black Ops every single hour since the game was released. Kudos where they are due – that is a genuinely astonishing accomplishment.

Needless to say, outspoken Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick is enormously pleased by this turn of events.

“In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and ‘Avatar’ have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly.”

“This is a tribute to the global appeal of the Call of Duty franchise, the exceptional talent at Treyarch and the hundreds of extraordinary people across our many Call of Duty studios including Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer that work tirelessly on the franchise.  Our ability to provide the most compelling, immersive  entertainment experience, and enhance it with regular, recurring content that delivers hundreds of hours of audience value, has allowed Call of Duty to continue to set sales and usage records.”

“This extraordinary milestone was achieved  because of  the tens of millions of passionate Call of Duty players around the world.  Global audiences have logged billions of hours online with Call of Duty games on Xbox LIVE, the PlayStation Network and on personal computers.  This unique level of community engagement has enabled Call of Duty to become one of the world’s most engaged online communities.”

Given the tremendous momentum the game continues to enjoy, one wonders how long it will be until the announcement of its next mind-boggling sales achievement. Shortly after the February 1, 2011, release of the predictably expensive First Strike Map Pack is probably a safe bet.

All this must come with a sharp sense of vindication for Kotick and Activision Blizzard after their very public dispute with former Infinity Ward studio heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. Despite the longtime opinion that Treyarch was in some ways a second-tier Call of Duty developer, the studio has clearly crafted a title that has connected with the masses like none before it.

Ranters, what are your thoughts? Does Black Ops deserve to be the best-selling Call of Duty ever? Can the series possibly hope to maintain its momentum going forward? Sound of in the comments below, before you head back to play some more Black Ops.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, and PC.

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