Activision has announced that “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” has become the biggest entertainment launch of the year, besting all other video games not to mention movies, music and books launched in 2014.
That’s not a big surprise, what is interesting though is that the company is still refusing to release hard numbers – specifically how many copies of the game have been sold and how much revenue said game has generated.
Instead, the company’s press release has stuck to generalities and boasts of social engagement figures. The game has become the highest-selling digital launch in console history according to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and internal Activision estimates. It has also seen over 370 million online matches engaged in during its first week of release.
Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick says: “Since Activision created the Call of Duty franchise in 2003, franchise revenues have exceeded $10 billion in sales worldwide, far exceeding box office receipts for such household movie franchises as Hunger Games, Transformers, Iron Man and Avengers, combined. Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of 2014 in terms of revenue, surpassing all movie, music and book launches this year.”
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg is a bit more revealing: “Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous. We believe Advanced Warfare will be the most successful game of the year and we thank our fans for making it the biggest entertainment launch of the year.”
The obvious lack of hard numbers though seems to suggest what many expect, that the decline in pre-orders for the game has seen an impact on sales figures. Last year’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” disappointed both critically and commercially, putting pressure on ‘Warfare’ to right the ship and restore Activision’s cash cow. Critical scores for the game show an improvement (though only slight), but until actual numbers are released it’s hard to know if sales are following suit.