First-year sales for the 2019 reboot are the highest in franchise history.
Activision may have Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War around the corner but Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is become its biggest game yet. In a call to investors, it confirmed that the 2019 reboot had managed to sell more copies in its first year than other titles throughout the entire franchise. Two-thirds of these sales were digital, though Activision didn’t provide a sales figure.
President and CFO Daniel Alegre also noted, “Across platforms, hours played in the Modern Warfare universe were approximately seven times higher year-over-year versus the prior title.” The number of players choosing to upgrade to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare after playing Warzone also contributed to increased sales. “We again saw substantial year-over-year growth in premium game sales as Warzone players chose to upgrade to the full Call of Duty experience.
“Modern Warfare’s first-year sales are the highest in Call of Duty’s history with two-thirds of lifetime units sold digitally and we are seeing sustained strength in the franchise’s revamped in-game system with console and PC in-game net bookings four times the level a year ago.”
This all shouldn’t be too surprising – Modern Warfare remains a staple in The NPD Group’s top ten best-selling games each month for the US. But seeing such a strong digital response is pretty crazy and further highlights the impact of free-to-play experiences on Activision’s business model.
Warzone will be integrated into Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War so expect support for it to continue (especially given its 80 million downloads thus far). The latter is out on November 13th for Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5 and PC. Stay tuned for more details in the coming week.