Call of Duty: Black Ops Sales Pass $1 Billion

By Alice O'Connor, Dec 21, 2010 3:30pm PST Considering that Call of Duty: Black Ops raked in $360 million on launch day and $650 million within five, publisher Activision's proud boast today that sales of the shooter have now passed $1 billion is perhaps no surprise but that still certainly is a big number.

That's $1,000,000,000 sold-through, according to Activision's internal estimates, for the Cold War-era shooter which launched on November 9. Fancy some more numbers? Over 600 million hours of Cod Blops playtime have been clocked up. On Xbox 360, Microsoft says that the average user logs on over once per day for over an hour, playing with friends over half the time. Numbers!

"In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and 'Avatar' have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly," commented Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick in the announcement, going on to say:

This is a tribute to the global appeal of the Call of Duty franchise, the exceptional talent at Treyarch and the hundreds of extraordinary people across our many Call of Duty studios including Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer that work tirelessly on the franchise. Our ability to provide the most compelling, immersive entertainment experience, and enhance it with regular, recurring content that delivers hundreds of hours of audience value, has allowed Call of Duty to continue to set sales and usage records.

Of course, the newly-restructured Infinity Ward is not the same as the one that made Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision's previous cash cow. A fair number of staff, including several leads, left the studio following the firing of co-founders Vince Zampella and Jason West. A number went on to join West and Zampella at their new studio, Respawn Entertainment.

Very little known of Sledgehammer's Call of Duty title, other than that it was originally described as an action-adventure game but is now known to simply be another first-person shooter. Bizarre rumours have circulated that it may be set in the future and star 'space marines,' though you'll want to take that one with a big pinch of salt.

Back on the praise, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said that "Even more remarkable than the number of units sold is the number of hours people are playing the game together online which are unprecedented. Call of Duty is more than a game, it's a true community."

The first Cod Blops downloadable content pack 'First Strike' was announced over the weekend. It'll launch for Xbox 360 on February 1, 2011, offering five new maps for 1,200 Microsoft Points ($15). First Strike will hit PC and PlayStation 3 later.

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