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Last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops II made $1 billion at retail in 16 days. This year, Grand Theft Auto: V reached that same figure after only three days. Now, it’s Call of Duty: Ghosts’ turn to see if it can race to the $1-billion mark.
Call of Duty publisher Activision isn’t revealing how much the latest military shooter made at retail on its first day (the game launched Tuesday for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, and PC), but the company did reveal that it already has $1 billion worth of Call of Duty: Ghosts in the retail chain. That refers to the games Activision has sold to stores like Wal-mart and GameStop and is not a reflection of how much consumers have spent on the title.
The $1 billion sell-in number is, however, a reflection of the perceived demand, and Activision feels like that is worth boasting about.
“Call of Duty is by far the largest console franchise of this generation,” Activision chief executive officer Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “More people have played Call of Duty this year than ever before, logging four billion hours of gameplay. And in the last 12 months, Call of Duty®: Black Ops II, including its digital content, generated more revenues than any other console game ever has in a single year. Although it is too early to assess sell-through for Call of Duty: Ghosts, it’s launching at a time when the franchise has never been more popular.”
While Kotick is claiming the game is more popular than ever, Call of Duty: Ghosts faces some challenges that the franchise hasn’t seen since it exploded in popularity with 2007’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The industry is in the midst of a generational transition, which might give some gamers pause as they try to figure out if they should get a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or something else (PC, Steam Machine).
The game is also not reviewing as well as most of its predecessors.
The Xbox 360 version of Ghosts is sitting at 74 on Metacritic currently. That’s down from 83 for Black Ops II, 88 for Modern Warfare 3, and 94 for Modern Warfare 2. Our own review noted that while it is still a fun game, it isn’t as good as publisher Electronic Art’s competitor Battlefield 4 or last year’s Black Ops II.
Still, it’s possible that none of that will have an impact on the final sales of the shooter.
“Ghosts is an amazing game which ushers in the next generation of Call of Duty,” Activision Publishing chief executive officer Eric Hirshberg said. “The team at Infinity Ward has delivered yet another epic thrill ride in the campaign, and what I think is our best multiplayer game yet.”