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‘Call of Duty’ Game Franchise Busts Sales Records

Posted on Nov 27, 2009
Modern Warfare 2

Perhaps it’s possible to draw larger sociological conclusions about why it is that, over the politically and economically tumultuous 2003-09 period, gaming giant Activision’s first-person shooter series “Call of Duty” raked in a staggering $3 billion in global sales. But we’ll leave the heavy theorizing to the countless communication and sociology scholars who are no doubt already digging into this particular topic.

Regardless of its controversial content, the latest in the blockbuster series, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” has already proved to be a recession-resistant sales item in its first weeks of release.

To help ground the “Call of Duty” success story in a more familiar entertainment context, VentureBeat’s Tom Slater helpfully points out that the James Bond franchise has grossed $5 billion in 47 years.

Reuters via Google News:

Overall, the “Call of Duty” series has sold more than 55 million units since its launch in 2003, Activision said, citing data compiled by NPD Group, Charttrack, GfK and internal company estimates.

The company released the sixth title in the series, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” earlier this month to record-breaking results.

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By Mick, December 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment
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War is both a business and a biological inevitability for humanity. It is an ongoing extension of politics and is designed to remain continuous and never be won by either side in the grand scheme of things. Theoretically over time people are supposed to learn from their OWN mistakes and and eventually evolve. But that takes time while people grow old and less attentive. So what happens next? We pass on our strategies to our own children. No matter how much time we spend with our younger, better extensions of ourselves, they are free to form their own opinions and ideas. These super high tech games and the people who play them (me included) are only capable of playing within the boundaries of each game’s script and strategic optimization of gameplay. A computer by itself does not know when to quit playing a computer-game that has neither a winner and/or loser. It needs a human to bring it to life and to extend its popularity and existence. Warfare, violence, hatred, fear and imposing one’s will on someone else for example, has been here for tens of thousands of years and will continue very nicely on its own. A silly game has nothing to do with human stupidity. This is actually quite possibly genius marketing, for now…  After serving in the military for 20+years and now working in L.E. for my next career, I have gotten closer to the real thing than most gamers. No matter what flag anyone flies or which crown anyone bows to, the history of humanity will continue to rhyme. Anyway if I could think of a way to touch one person and say “let’s all help each other” and form a team, I would. But who would listen and why? As people we are supposed to be looking out for each other’s well being and caring for each other. Anyone know how to do this?
*For me, I personally enjoyed Metal Gear series and Splinter Cell because Hideo Kojima and Tom Clancy added a touch of fantasy, not just boorish military types and carnage. BTW I am nearly 50 years old and still a bright eyed kid with no clue as to what to do when I grow up… What should I do? I hope my life has meaning and purpose and I am able to help at least one other soul out before I die one day. We should fix this human problem or at least spread the word from the Big Electron! How many of you got offended by anything I just spoke of I wonder? The reason I ask is experimental. I want to see how quickly an emotional response fueled with negative energy will be generated. This will prove my point. Good Luck to us all!

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By JimM, December 1, 2009 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

another bing bang boom game for the idiocracy.
See how your kids turn out when they grow up

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By FiftyGigs, November 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Oh, brother.

A) The PS3 offers multiplayer action for free. You can go head-to-head with British blokes and teach them once and for all what Americans are really all about. (That’s sarcasm, btw)

B) The game is very well done.

C) It’s as entertaining to watch as it is to play.

D) Values-wise, don’t forget it has a team component.

E) People who look $3 billion in the eye and say it has no merit have an agenda.

Relax. Pick up a controller, and blast some zombies, forkrisakes!@

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By ChaoticGood, November 30, 2009 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

Do you want to empty out a highschool cafeteria during lunch hour?

Just yell:  “FIGHT”

That’s all you have to know about human nature….

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By thecrow, November 30, 2009 at 6:09 am Link to this comment

“This is all part of desensitizing our youth in the on going militarization of our country.”

Yes, and it is no accident:

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By L2k4FC, November 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Re: katydid’s comment: I think anyone who lets a 6 year old play this game is deranged.  I have a 6 year old and I don’t let her watch this game being played.  I agree with your comment on common sense.

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By katydid, November 29, 2009 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

I stood and watched, becoming sick to my stomach, as a middle aged father was teaching his 6 year old son to target shoot, not at bulls-eyes, but at people. When the “target” was hit it exploded into bloody parts. This is all part of desensitizing our youth in the on going militarization of our country.  When will common sense return to us?

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By eso, November 29, 2009 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
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The filtering of reality from images presented by the news media and of course computer games results in most of us eating all that red meat of cows, pigs, chickens (the latter two creatures when bled having no meat redder than human skin), and our not noticing what it is that we eat. The killing that kids do by way of internet combat games is, we ought to know, for fun and virtually harmless. Money overrules reality and fixes our location as being in fantasy land.

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By L2k4FC, November 28, 2009 at 9:53 pm Link to this comment
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“There’s a simple explanation for why this stuff sells in such large amounts: We’re a Nazi culture.”

Please don’t include me in your summary of ‘our culture’.  I see a lot of easy answers being posted on this question and almost all are negative.  Call Of Duty sells because it is an intense, feature packed and dare I say fun game.  Let’s try to remember it is just a game.  If after playing Call Of Duty I were to see or hear of my son doing something questionable then I might get on board with all the negative posters here.  As it is I can say that while I wouldn’t let him play just those types of games [he mostly plays sports games] I have been playing Call Of Duty with him and we have FUN!!!  It’s just a game guys.  Take responsibility by talking to the kids about what war just like you talk to them about sex, drugs, peer pressure etc.  In the end blaming Activision for raising the next generation of commandos is as big a cop out as you could hope to make in life.  The lack of parenting in general and parents not spending time and being involved with their children is the primary cause of the problems that kids encounter in life.

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By PatrickHenry, November 28, 2009 at 4:26 pm Link to this comment

My 10 year old boy smoked Call of Duty 4.

Now he plays an on line game, World of Warcraft, where the kids wear headsets and interact with other players around the world, young and old. 

Moderators monitor the play action and make sure others maintain decorum as young players are involved.

The next generation computer commandos are here now.

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By Samson, November 28, 2009 at 10:58 am Link to this comment

Of course, the real question on a computer game sold just before Christmas is whether or not the software actually works.

Programmers are awful at meeting fixed deadlines, and the companies always push whatever they have out the door in order to sell the boxes off the shelf at Christmas time.  But often the game isn’t actually playable until about the 3rd patch that usually comes out the following May or June.

Just maybe this is the rare case where a programming project was on schedule, so just maybe these people got a playable game, but the past record of a lot of Christmas games shows that what’s probably happening right now is that a lot of these people are struggling with a buggy game that crashes and doesn’t work like its supposed to work.

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By surfnow, November 28, 2009 at 5:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

How many of those 55 million units went to Sarah Palin for her Xmas list?

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By surfnow, November 28, 2009 at 5:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, and millions of idiot American kids who waste their brain-cells on these games start believing how “cool” war is.

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By montanawildhack, November 28, 2009 at 4:00 am Link to this comment

Hey I’ve got a great idea… How ‘bout a game where the player navigates through the bowels of Walter Reed Hopital and tries to identify patients from their senior picture from high school….

“Well gee, how am I supposed to identify this guy??? His face is burned off.  I don’t like this game so much.”

We aren’t worse than the Nazis but we certainly are not any better….

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By Commune115, November 28, 2009 at 3:12 am Link to this comment

There’s a simple explanation for why this stuff sells in such large amounts: We’re a Nazi culture.

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