Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Just Set A Sales Record Dating Back To 2003

Modern Warfare II had the highest first-quarter sales of any Call of Duty game ever.


After 2021's Call of Duty: Vanguard came up short for Activision, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II performed exceptionally well and set new records for the publisher.

Modern Warfare II had the highest sales for any Call of Duty game dating back to the first title in 2003 for its first quarter on the market. Activision did not provide a unit sales number or any other details, however. In any event, the game's success helped the Activision division of Activision Blizzard post a 60% year-over-year gain in revenue for the fourth quarter.

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"The strong performance was broad-based, and digital sales were particularly robust on PC and in Asia-Pacific after Activision expanded distribution of the title to Steam's PC digital storefront," Activision said.

By the end of the quarter, total hours played in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II were the highest ever for the Call of Duty franchise for a premium release over a similar period of time after launch.

Big numbers for Modern Warfare II were not unexpected, as the game reached $1 billion in revenue after its first 10 days, which was faster than any previous Call of Duty game to that mark.

Also during the October-December quarter, Activision launched Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, and together with Modern Warfare II, total Call of Duty player "investment" reached a record for a fourth quarter period. Activision said growth in Warzone 2.0 has "moderated" since launch, but the launch of Season 2 on February 15 is aiming to help numbers improve, Activision said.

Additionally, Call of Duty Warzone Mobile is set for release in 2023, and it's expected to put up big numbers and bring in lots of cash from microtransactions. For the existing Call of Duty Mobile game, total revenue jumped by double digits year-over-year during the quarter to set a new quarterly revenue record for the game, Activision said.

Finally, Activision reiterated that the company will launch the "next full annual premium release" in the Call of Duty series later in 2023. A report from Bloomberg said Activision would buck with tradition and skip a traditional mainline Call of Duty release in 2023. Bloomberg reporter Jason Schreier said whatever this is, it will be a "continuation of MW2."

NPD analyst Mat Piscatella said if Activision does not release a new mainline Call of Duty game this year, it could have a major, lasting negative impact on the video game industry.

Microsoft is in the process of attempting to purchase Activision Blizzard for $68.7 billion, and it would be the largest-ever acquisition in video games. It's not a done deal, though, as the FTC has sued Microsoft to try to stop the deal.

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