Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 Has Big Opening Weekend
Looks like the gamble paid off.
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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is off to a big start. Activision announced that it achieved $500 million in sell-through in the first three days, along with high player counts that show the franchise's popularity is still going strong. That estimate includes retail and digital sales along with season passes. This follows word that in the UK, it broke digital sales records even as physical sales were down.
For comparison, 2017's Call of Duty: WWII also drove $500 million in revenue over its first three days. 2015's Black Ops 3 made $550 million over its first three days, so Black Ops 4's first-weekend revenue decreased from that.
In the first three days, Activision boasts that Black Ops 4 set a new franchise record on current-gen consoles for most combined players, average hours per player, and total number of hours played. That figure may imply that a prior Call of Duty had higher numbers on the last generation, or when the generations were split, but it's still an impressive achievement.
It also found that the combined number of players across all three of its modes during those initial three days tops the same period for Call of Duty: WW2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. That's a favorable comparison for the direction of Black Ops 4, which traded a traditional single-player campaign for the new Blackout mode. This serves as solid basis to believe the trade-off was worth it.
Activision's move towards Blizzard's Battle.net is showing signs of growth too, as PC players more than doubled year-over-year in the first three days. This is the first Call of Duty to use Battle.net, after Activision opened the door of the partnership Destiny 2. Finally, it set a new day one record for digital full game sales on the PlayStation Store and a record for the best-selling Activision digital game on Xbox One.
Black Ops 4 presents three multiplayer modes--traditional competitive multiplayer, Zombies, and the new battle royale Blackout, without a traditional single-player campaign. The decision was an experiment for the series, but critics on the whole seem to either appreciate the change or don't mind the missing mode. In GameSpot's Black Ops 4 review, Kallie Plagge addressed the change. "Sure, there isn't a traditional single-player campaign, but with the depth and breadth of what is there, Black Ops 4 doesn't need it," she said.
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