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Black Ops II Sells $1B in 15 Days

Activision announces that Call of Duty: Black Ops II has tallied over one billion dollars in gross sales in the just over two weeks since the release of the military shooter sequel:

Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that Call of Duty®: Black Ops II has crossed the $1 billion mark in worldwide retail sales, according to Chart-Track retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates. Illustrating the strong appeal of interactive entertainment to audiences worldwide, the game achieved this milestone in just 15 days after its launch on November 13, 2012. Last year's Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare®3 reached $1 billion in retail sales in 16 days. The box office record set for feature films in 2009 by "Avatar" was $1 billion in 17 days¹.

"The release of Call of Duty® has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "Since Call of Duty was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top-10 grossing films of 2012 combined. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars,' the two most successful movie franchises of all time."

Since the game's launch, more than 150 million hours have been logged online playing Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Xbox® LIVE® and PlayStation Network.

¹According to

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32. Re: Black Ops II Sells $1B in 15 Days Dec 5, 2012, 14:11 ViRGE
Darks wrote on Dec 5, 2012, 10:37:
Dev wrote on Dec 5, 2012, 10:29:
The box office record set for feature films in 2009 by "Avatar" was $1 billion in 17 days

Jeez. Better than the best selling movie. Plus the movie probably cost much more to produce.

Yea, well Avatar didn’t cost you an arm and leg to walk into the theater either. You can’t compare apples to oranges here guys.
Video games are also incredibly frontloaded. Most of the sales happen in the first days if not weeks (thanks to pre-orders), which is why games are almost always failures if they don't sell at least 100K copies in the first week. With the exception of a handful of games, the long tail basically does not exist in this industry.

Movies on the other hand have a very long tail. They're actually capacity constrained at the beginning (only so many seats), followed by a number of weeks of still pulling in money from additional viewings, second run theaters, etc. Then there's the international release, PPV, and DVD/Blu-Ray sales.

Games will always be the "first to $X", that's the nature of the industry. Unless sales of video games as a whole greatly increase however, the highest grossing movies are still safe from video games for the time being. The Avengers for example has a worldwide ticket take of $1.5B, plus whatever the PPV and DVD/Blu-Ray sales did.

Anyhow, I'm happy to see video games as an industry doing so well. However I'm disappointed that the best selling game of the year is Call of Duty. It wouldn't be so bad, if not for the fact that CoD is such a mediocre game. Even within the realm of FPSes, there are better FPSes out there than this.
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