Call of Duty: Black Ops day-one sales hit $360M

Treyarch's latest first-person shooter tops Modern Warfare 2's launch day total by $50 million in North America and UK alone to claim "biggest entertainment launch in history" title.

Last year, Activision touted the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 as the biggest launch in entertainment history. The Infinity Ward-developed military shooter launched November 10, 2009, and racked up North American and UK sales of $310 million in its first 24 hours on sale.

Black Ops' day-one sales have been declassified.

That record stood for slightly less than a year, as Activision COO and CFO Thomas Tippl today announced at the BMO Capital Markets 18th Annual Digital Entertainment Conference that Call of Duty: Black Ops racked up day-one sales of $360 million at North American and UK retailers. Activision later revealed unit sales for the game, saying Black Ops sold through 5.6 million copies in those markets, compared to 4.7 million for Modern Warfare 2.

"I have every confidence that Tuesday's sales are just the first milestone in what will be a tremendous year for Call of Duty and for our company," Tippl told the conference.

While Black Ops has enjoyed a strong debut, its longer-term prospects have been the subject of speculation. Pacific Crest analyst Evan Wilson said the game wouldn't be able to match Modern Warfare 2's holiday quarter sales of 16 million copies, "due to competition, weaker marketing, and the Infinity Ward situation." Activision fired Infinity Ward cofounders Jason West and Vince Zampella in March, prompting a wave of Infinity Ward developers to jump ship to West and Zampella's newly formed Respawn Entertainment.

Set in the middle of the Cold War, Black Ops depicts a number of Cold War-era covert operations in countries like Russia, Vietnam, and Cuba. The game represents new territory for the series, which has previously focused on more familiar World War II and modern-day settings.

Call of Duty: Black Ops is now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, and PC. For more information, check out GameSpot's review.

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Discussion

598 comments
TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

Hopefully GRAW 3 will do something different than what the average shooters has offered or even the great ones, just want something with more depth in gameplay and story. They need to go back and look at what games like "Path of Neo" and "Splinter Cell" offered. Alot more variety in gameplay from older games that were "shooters" too.

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

@nissanmaxima- Go back and REread your comment, you mentioned NOTHING about the 24hr span in your comment...IDIOT (unless you edited it).

starblack
starblack

man they better have made that much money... after releasing it in 5 different devices lol

starblack
starblack

@mikemaj82..... cuz they have not bought black ops yet? like me cuz im out of disposable income -.-

mikemaj82
mikemaj82

why are so many people on my friend list playing MW2 again? Is Black Ops that bad?

Cheesemanook
Cheesemanook

I'm glad I did not contribute to any of that.

macca366
macca366

I didn't get World At War, I don't plan on picking Black Ops up. It feels a bit too soon to pay for/play what looks like more of the same of MW2. That being said, samey =/= less entertaining. Just yesterday I was playing MW2's campaign, still a blast, for me. Its a good formula, its good entertainment, and you don't have to play any game you don't want to.

badiie05
badiie05

@dawnofhero i agree man its all the same, i enjoyed battlefield bad company 2 cause it mixed it up alot and gave alot more freedom.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

Congrats, Treyarch. But really, what's the big deal? You've seen one shooting game, you've seen them all. That's what games have become nowadays: nothing but wallowing around in blood and guts for the sake of what? Seriously, these games are getting older. Maybe not less entertaining, but obviously all too common.

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

lithus
lithus

I liked MW2, but love BO's. Kinda figured it'd do well. PC version is already having issues though. Glad I brought the 360 version.

Deele
Deele

Yeah, I cant wait to get COD BO!

idk95
idk95

every year makes the cod series boring i love cod but that isnt smart marketing if they released 1 every two years than there would be more anticipation and therefore more sells and less bad company 2 fanboys downing the game!

DKant
DKant

Clock is ticking. Soon there'll be a CoD that just doesn't sell, no matter how good it is. I hate marketing-driven sales cycles...they just don't get that it will "boom" for only so long before it goes "bust". Focussing on a brand-name/franchise alone in any creative industry ultimately kills the brand outright, sometimes out of fatigue, sometimes just because enough crappy ones were made that people just don't trust the brand anymore, regardless of its actual quality.It's been going good so far, both sales and quality wise (more or less). But Activision just needs to leave Treyarch and the franchise alone to let them grow and mature organically...oh well like THAT's gonna happen.

Dan21278
Dan21278

There is someone on here name "kotickisagenius".....My god the first sign of apocalypse

Dan21278
Dan21278

That's a lot of money. Glad to say I did NOT contribute

GordonFrohman11
GordonFrohman11

When Bobby Kotick smiles a puppy dies. There has just been an increase in puppy deaths worldwide thanks to Black Ops.

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

I hate bashing Treyarch and I haven't even gotten deeper in the game to really judge it since I can't play it to say if its a good game or not. But since they have big shoes (against Infinity Ward) to fill they should have released this without all the bugs. All in all I agree, MW2 still rules! I'm redownloading now in Steam hopefully I can play the multiplayer tomorrow. I'm not touching this game with all the lag I'm just wasting my USD 60 on my first game experience if I did. I want to play the SP with as maxed out specs as my rig can do, and I want to play MP without the lag otherwise I get screwed most of the time because of it. I don;t think I am that bad since I can take out 1 or 2 people before I die most of the time.

badtaker
badtaker

Inspite of huge amount of profits activision and Treyarch made a buggy game ? Every year COD brings tons of money yet it doesn't get tons of polish WTF

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

Really? A negative? Just for commenting that the company should release a stable game? Those Treyarch lovers are sick! Nothing short of an Intel i7 can run this game smoothly and I doubt the graphics are as complicated as Crysis. I'm just saying these sites shouldn't have hyped the game without mentioning how unstable the freakin' game is!

ajebuss
ajebuss

they should be happy for the sales they got cause its not going to last that much longer their going to get bored of cod like they did for rock band and guitar hero

muzza93
muzza93

The campaign mode was so boring, no standout missions, no epic sniping missions & absolutely stupid AI. Multiplayer has sum awesome features but i cannot shoot people cos they move sooo fast and unpredictably its ridiculous, players feel weightless & are impossible to hit if they have lightweight. But it has splitscreen online! the single greatest feature ever made 4 games, u hav a mate over & u go online together and play Team deathmatch or watever against randoms YAY!

robertwarnes91
robertwarnes91

I noticed on Gamerankings that Persona 3 Portable got better reviews than Black Ops.

DARREN636
DARREN636

so many negative comments here regarding blackops/ cod... funny really. kind of sad too.

steelmouth
steelmouth

impressive but it gets a lil boring when the same game/company keeps on breaking its own record, next year it will be MW3,

Mr_BillGates
Mr_BillGates

I bet $1 that Activision will sell Treyarch once the CoD series decline.

itsTolkien_time
itsTolkien_time

*facepalm* And I thought MW2's launch was too big. How the **** do they do this consistently? With the relatively minor hype among the people I know I thought this one might go a little quieter. But even without huge hype half my friends bought back into Call of Duty anyways. Just because that's what they've been doing every year.

Pete5506
Pete5506

I got the game, but all I wanted was the zombie mode

edmond_villamor
edmond_villamor

I wonder of of the USD 360M how many people will want to shoot themselves in the head for buying day 1 because of all the bug issues. They should have informed us in these reviews of how buggy it is and they shouldn't have given the game a score of 9.0 because of it. It is quite unfair for other games who got a low score because of bugs and not gameplay but games like COD are not rated because of it. I bought the game yesterday thinking that the stutter and lag will be fixed but it doesn't. I wish most of the issues got fixed already when I get home and update in Steam but I'm giving this game until next week to get everything fixed. I'll just play MW2, Team Fortress 2 or Medal of Honor first 'til then. "sigh"

supernaught360
supernaught360

@Gelugon_baat In regard to your citation (a clip, out of context from a Dead Rising 2 thread) of my supposed "sanctimony" and "moral superiority" - please: you're only reinforcing my citation of your consistent projecting of emotional refuse into every comment that is contrary to your own, which is patently arrogant, and self-serving. Anyone who engages in debate has to establish themselves as first being correct in order to defend a given position. Applying terms like "sanctimony" and "superiority complex" (as well as conflating two disparate terms) is coming from a morally superior stance - NOT calling an inanimate object a "polished turd." Do you even think before leveling those kinds of self-righteous insults at people? Morality never entered into my comments about the hype, and sales figures associated with Blackops - only the fact that: Black Ops is now the #1 entertainment product of all time by virtue of it's earnings, and that overzealous gamers made it so. Think about it: of all the great accomplishments in modern entertainment, three stand out as absurd and violent psychosis engendering marketing/hype machines: The Pet Rock of 1975, Cabbage Patch Kids, and the Nintendo Wii. People were shot, trampled, and beat-up to attain these. This proves at least that marketing and hype can turn mass consumers into savages. I'm only saying that since Blackops is now #1, it's because a LOT people are idiots.

mr_pink88
mr_pink88

@MasterRoper Fair enough, I agree with that, because you know that if EA had this much success with BF, they would be doing the same thing, they're already trying with Bad Company anyways. I like all FPS's pretty much, but COD are the only ones a buy, and i can honestly say that a big reason for that is traffic. All my friends used to play only halo.. now only COD. What happened?! lol

MasterRoper
MasterRoper

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

silverman2000
silverman2000

$50 million worth of ppl pay to play a game that you shoot yourself and what after that...?You shoot yourself again like a dam human you are lol sad very sad...

Truepace
Truepace

All these comments about who the game is marketed at, kids you reckon? It carries an 18 certificate so not exactly. Teenagers yes, but kids, I call that under 18. The up to 35 demographic is a lot different nowadays. More adults behaving like kids than ever before!

Crumblet
Crumblet

While I believe the Call of Duty series generates far too much money than it deserves, it's better than having that money go to some shovelware game.

Truepace
Truepace

"biggest entertainment launch in history"... During terrible recession...

dkdk999
dkdk999

@MasterRoper yes yes it is. :)

gpuFX16
gpuFX16

You know, I've never been much for Call of Duty or historical shooters, but you gotta hand it to them- through-the-roof numbers proving games can be bigger than just about anything. If only the online community wasn't so terrible I would of considered trying it, even if it's not my kind of game- in fact, the only thing I absolutely dislike about Call of Duty is that all my XBL friends are playing it all the time. There's other great stuff out there too, guys.

DBZKING1234
DBZKING1234

I'll give myself a cookie for not buying into this hype.

nissanmaxima
nissanmaxima

@TheoleDominion i never said it outsold MW2. i said it out sold mw2 in the first 24 hrs (made several million more in first 24 hrs also). maybe you should have read what was stated in the article here before you made you dumb *** response. idiot.

MasterRoper
MasterRoper

@dkdk999 well each to their own I guess :) and I don't blame you, Mass Effect 2 is a bad ass game :P

dkdk999
dkdk999

@MasterRoper ya i agree they should have made the campaign longer. But I haven't played a shooting game much longer than that in a long time. And it usually takes me like more than a week to beat games like this. There are other games like mass effect 2 that I would play for like 8 hours a day when I got them.

MasterRoper
MasterRoper

@mr_pink88 Yeah that's basically what I was saying.. my main point being that the sales isn't really a reflection on the quality of the game (not saying it's the worst game ever made) and that it's success is due to it being a trend amongst casual gamers, and yeah maybe you're right and that is the purpose, because it sure is accessible to a wide range of players, and I wasn't attacking the kids that play this game with my comment, I was merely proposing my thoughts on the matter which, to sum up, is that COD got lucky. Lucky that it caught on, because in my eyes there isn't enough differences between COD and other generic military based shooters on the market, yet every year COD sells way more than all of them. Also the fact that it sets all these records when it doesn't really do anything new or revolutionary, these are just my opinions anyway.. Oh and finally, in terms of first person shooters, I prefer Halo, because I prefer the sci-fi elements and original storyline to these games based on actual wars, but that's just me, I'm not trying to tell anybody what to like though.

darkcomedian
darkcomedian

Ugh Gamespot, stop being so politically incorrect. It's "African-American ops"

BravoOneActual
BravoOneActual

@nonfanboygamer1: Yes, and you can still use MW2 as a coaster if you insist on keeping it.

NOscope42
NOscope42

@fLaMbOaStiN not that there aren't a lot of lame games for Wii, but its not Nintendo that published them. you need to check the publisher who made the game, and a lot of indi studios tried to capitalize on Wii popularity with casual gamers with these titles. I know that the other guy was hatting on black opps as a clone, but IMHO its pretty close, more like a patch then a clone, but the value is dropping with the number of FPS's being put out there. glad you like the game though ^_^ gamer are for fun!

TxtBin
TxtBin

@fLaMbOaStiN No bro - I never said COD was a crappy line of games. I personally disliked MW2 as it brought-in many flaws which now will probably exist in the upcoming COD games, and Treyarch has made an attempt at cutting down certain problems (quickscoping for example) for BO. I think COD BO is a very addictive game like you have said, and I never said you get tricked but loads of people make COD sounds like a heavenly game franchise when in reality, the devs just keep 'milking the cow' and rehash the same elements with just a new name. Maps tend to be disappointing as they get old fairly soon, and purchasing new maps is a waste as you get very little quality for the high prices you pay. I don't appreciate Activision draining our wallets dry but in return don't quite give us the full quality COD1-4 had offered. That's all.