Activision announces that the Call of Duty series has hit 250 million units sold worldwide, just days after Black Ops 3 was named as the top selling game of 2015 in the United States.
It’s no secret that Call of Duty is one of the biggest franchises in all of video games, being that it’s the go-to FPS for a huge swathe of the genre’s most committed fans. Now, Activision is reporting that sales figures for the series as whole have surpassed 250 million units worldwide.
This news comes shortly after the publisher announced that Black Ops 3 had managed to end 2015 as the highest selling video game release of the year. Moreover, Call of Duty has been the highest selling franchise in North America for seven consecutive years, no small feat in the competitive release schedule of today.
It seems that Call of Duty is firmly in the black, with legions of fans still invested in its brand of FPS action. This may seem like no big surprise, but it’s important to remember that many analysts and pundits were predicting doom for the franchise not so long ago.
Following the launch of critical and commercial underachiever Ghosts back in 2013, Activision CEO Eric Hirschberg made a statement suggesting that the series would need to reflect on the criticisms being aired to survive. At the time, this seemed like the standard corporate response to a middling product, but changes were put in place.
Crucially, Activision has implemented a schedule that sees different studios tackling Call of Duty installments in consecutive years. This has made it possible for mainline entries to enjoy the benefits of a three-year development cycle, something that we’re only starting to see the fruits of now.
In turn, that’s given the developers working on the series more opportunity to create distinct experiences with differing focusses. That contributed to the broadly positive critical response to Advanced Warfare in 2014, and similar praise that was bestowed upon Black Ops 3 last year.
It’s been almost a decade since the original Modern Warfare transformed the Call of Duty franchise from a popular FPS series into one of the most recognizable names in video games. With that sort of longevity — especially considering instalments have been released annually — certain evolutions were necessary to keep fans engaged.
Activision has seemingly managed to do just that, and Call of Duty is enjoying as much success as it ever has. With Infinity Ward expected to be at the helm of the series’ 2016 release, it’ll certainly be interesting to see where things go from here on out.