Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Is Already the US' Top-Grossing Console Game of 2016
It only took a month.
Much has been said about the struggles of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which reportedly sold roughly half of what last year's Black Ops III did in its first month in the US. But that doesn't mean it isn't still raking in money.
The NPD Group's latest report had it at the top of its sales charts for November, which track physical (and some digital) sales in the US. Activision has since expanded on that, announcing in a press release that Infinite Warfare is "the #1 console video game in the US, based on year-to-date revenues from physical unit sales."
That statement comes with two important qualifications--it's only true of console games, and it excludes digital sales, which have become an increasingly large piece of the pie. It also suggests that--at least so far--Infinite Warfare isn't the best-selling game of the year in terms of units. It's only had a month on store shelves so far, so that may still change. The latest Call of Duty typically ends up at the top of the US sales charts by the end of the year, be it an established series (2015's Black Ops III) or a new one (2014's Advanced Warfare).
Activision doesn't say as much, but it seems likely that Infinite Warfare has been helped by how attractive its more expensive special editions are. As the only way to obtain Modern Warfare Remastered, more people than usual may have been lured into buying the $80-plus versions of Infinite Warfare. That higher sale price could help offset lower-than-usual sales for the game. That said, both Infinite Warfare and its $80 Legacy edition were discounted fairly quickly.
Conspicuously, Activision had yet to brag about sales of the game prior to this, and, indeed, it's still yet to share any specific sales figures. Last year, it was quick to announce Black Ops III had generated over $500 million in its first three days, making it what Activision called the "biggest entertainment launch of the year." It made the same claim about Advanced Warfare the year before, though it didn't share specific revenue figures, instead calling attention to the franchise as a whole eclipsing $10 billion in revenue.
The press release also added that Call of Duty overall is the top console game franchise in North America, again based on year-to-date physical unit revenue. Activision said this is the eighth year in a row that's been true.
This news has yet to result in a bump to the company's stock price, which has dropped fairly significant since October. It currently stands at $36.75, down from $45.47, where it was just under two months ago. Activision had said it expected Infinite Warfare sales to be down compared with Black Ops III (as is the norm when introducing a new sub-brand), but it remains unknown if it anticipated a drop as significant as the one it's seen.
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