Nothing can stop Call of Duty.
Activision Blizzard revealed that its popular shooter franchise is alive and well while releasing the financial results for its the fourth quarter of 2015. The publisher noted that Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the latest release in the series, ended the quarter with the largest amount of monthly active players in the franchise’s history. Activision Blizzard also said that revenues for Call of Duty grew double digits year-over-year for both the full year and in Q4. Call of Duty is one of the biggest franchises, not just for Activision but in all of gaming. It was the most popular gaming series for the seventh year in a row, according to Activision. Over the past decade, it’s made more than $10 billion for Activision. It’s continued success is a sign of a healthy market. Console gaming is worth tens of billions of dollars, partly thanks to mega-franchises like Call of Duty. In total, the series has sold $250 million games worldwide and earned $15 billion and sales.
It’s interesting that this news comes today, when publisher Ubisoft revealed its plans to put its premier franchise, Assassin’s Creed, on a break as a result of slowing sales. Both Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty are (or, in Assassin’s Creed case, were) yearly franchises with lavish, blockbuster production values (or known as triple-A in the industry). However, Activision has manged to grow Call of Duty’s popularity while gamers seem to cool on Assassin’s Creed.
Activision notes that it plans to release a new Call of Duty from developer Infinity Ward, the studio responsible for the series’ earliest megahits, during the fourth quarter of this year. This isn’t exactly a surprise, but it’s surely good news for an industry that has come to depend on Call of Duty to drive sales during the holiday season.