Activision seems awfully proud of itself this morning, announcing in a press release that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Destiny are the two best selling console games of the year in North America.
Activision claims that Advanced Warfare‘s numbers for November alone put it ahead of every other title released since January. Their new IP from developer Bungie, Destiny, is said to have taken the #2 spot. Activision also noted that its Skylanders franchise is #1 in sales among all kids’ titles, based on retail sell-through.
While Activision’s statement regarding these games is likely correct, it’s important to note a few things that have gone unsaid. The company has anointed these titles as the best-selling games of the year, but the numbers Activision is using are only through November. December sales figures are obviously still in progress, so it is at least possible, although unlikely that this ranking could change.
The numbers are also only based on retail sales for consoles only. The statement does not take into account digital downloads on consoles for either title or PC sales for Call of Duty (Destiny is not currently available on PC). Gamers should always be wary these days any time any company claims to have a “best-selling” title, as sales figures for digital downloads through platforms like Steam are not available, but continue to gain popularity with gamers. It’s likely that the retail sales numbers publishers rely on will continue to decrease in significance as time goes on.
It’s also worth noting that no official sales numbers have been released for Call of Duty. Activision has not said whether Advanced Warfare has surpassed or fallen short of previous games in the series like Black Ops or Modern Warfare. Some analysts believe that Call of Duty‘s sales numbers are on the decline. This is, however, the 6th consecutive year that a Call of Duty game has led the charts in November, according to Activision. Advanced Warfare’s sales likely benefited from the positive reviews the game received.
The same can’t be said for Destiny, which has been referred to as the year’s “best 7 out of 10.” Destiny no doubt did benefit though from the unstoppable hype train that began long before the game was released, leading to the most successful new franchise launch in gaming history. Destiny will likely continue to rake in the cash for Activision as the game’s first expansion, The Dark Below was just released this month and more DLC is on the way.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Destiny is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Follow Jason Gallagher on Twitter @MuckrakerJG.