It’s a good time to be Activision, and an especially good time to own Call of Duty. In addition to announcing that Call of Duty: Warzone had surpassed 100 million players today, Activision also revealed another eye-popping figure: the Call of Duty series has sold more than 400 million premium games since the original Call of Duty launched in October of 2003. For those doing the math at home, that means the series had sold, on average, more than 22 million copies a year, every year, for almost two decades.
The best-selling game in the series is 2019’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which had sold over 30 million copies as of May of last year. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops are the second and third best-selling games in the series, respectively, both with over 26 million copies sold.
400 million puts Call of Duty in impressive company. It’s good enough to make the series the third best-selling game series of all time, beating Pokemon (4th at 386 million copies), Super Mario (5th at 350 million), and Grand Theft Auto (6th at 320 million copies). The only two series that have sold more copies are Tetris (2nd at 495 million) and the overall Mario franchise (1st at 680 million).
Interestingly, Call of Duty‘s success is largely built on a quantity approach. With 18 main series titles, and 26 across consoles and handhelds, the series has proven it can sustain success despite the franchise fatigue that generally accompanies long-running series. But no Call of Duty game has come close to rivaling the best-selling game of all time in individual sales. That would be Minecraft, with 200 million copies.