Call of Duty: Black Ops III generated $550 million in worldwide sales in its first three days. That gives Activision Blizzard the biggest entertainment launch of 2015, beating out the box office from the Jurassic World film opening.
Activision Publishing, the division of the Activision Blizzard parent company, said the sales numbers for the futuristic military shooter beat out all theatrical box office, music, and book launches this year. Call of Duty has generated more than $10 billion in its lifetime of more than a decade, but Black Ops III has been more highly anticipated than other recent Call of Duty games, which come out every year since Activision has three game studios rotating sub-franchises.
The Black Ops sub-franchise is under the Treyarch studio, and the new title has set a new record for the Call of Duty franchise in engagement, as fans have played more than 75 million hours online in the first three days. Retails are up significantly over the last two years, and digital sales are nearly double compared to a year ago. Check out our game review here.
Of course, it’s not as hard to beat film, particularly as movie tickets cost less per person than a $60 video game. Also, Activision previously boasted that Call of Duty: Black Ops II generated $500 million in sales in its first 24 hours back in 2012, so this year’s title is evidently not the highest-selling Call of Duty of all time. Still, Activision clearly has a hit on its hands, especially compared to other games released this year.
“Call of Duty’s millions of passionate fans have shown us, yet again, the strength of their commitment to this enduring franchise,” said Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s chief executive, in a statement. “Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch this year in any medium, and bigger than any theatrical opening weekend ever.”
On PlayStation 4, Black Ops III set a new record as the best-selling digital full game by units sold in its first day of availability.
“The Call of Duty: Black Ops III launch is bigger than any game, any movie, or any entertainment launch this year. But more importantly, our fans are engaging more deeply with the franchise than ever before. In fact, so far, people are playing Black Ops III for more hours per player than any Call of Duty game on record,” said Eric Hirshberg, the CEO of Activision Publishing, in a statement. “Call of Duty is more than a game, it’s a year round passion for a growing base of millions of fans and it’s only gaining momentum.”
This year, the PS 4 is the lead console for Call of Duty, as Sony has outsold Microsoft about two-to-one in next-generation consoles. Activision switched allegiances and will now publish downloadable content such as map packs on Sony’s platform. In the past, it published map packs first on Microsoft’s Xbox Live.
“As we’ve said from the start, PlayStation is the best place to play Call of Duty, and this record-breaking launch shows how true this statement is. Black Ops III is the biggest launch of the year so far, and the PlayStation Nation is ready. We’re proud to call PlayStation the home of Call of Duty and look forward to supporting our community with DLC map pack content first,” said Adam Boyes, vice president of publisher and developer relations at Sony Computer Entertainment America, in a statement.
Activision said Black Ops III established new marks in viewership as the No. 1 most streamed and most viewed game of any game launch in 2015, as reported by Twitch.