Highly anticipated: Activision's annual release of Call of Duty has become a tradition that has translated into huge sales and truckloads of cash for nearly a decade now. This year is no different, as Infinity Ward's re-imagining of the Modern Warfare franchise set several new records for the series, including its biggest ever PC launch and recording the highest number of digital sales on the PS4 within the first days of release.
Seems like quite a lot of gamers went 'Bravo Six, going dark' with Captain Price or joined their buddies in multiplayer as Activision posted details about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's blockbuster launch.
The $600 million opening weekend saw the latest Call of Duty overtake the previous leading entry in the series: Black Ops 3. That game managed $550 million in its opening weekend sales in 2015, while later ones like Call of Duty: World War 2 and Black Ops 4 made around $500 million during their first three days.
To highlight its entertainment impact, Modern Warfare's blockbuster launch was also noted to have doubled that of the box office opening of Joaquin Phoenix's Joker.
"Call of Duty is once again the top selling new premium game of the year, proving the enduring nature of the franchise across console, PC, mobile, and esports," said Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.
Unlike last year's Black Ops 4 that didn't have a single-player campaign, 2019's Modern Warfare has frequently reminded players of its action-packed story line featuring the return of protagonist Captain Price. That, along with the decision to ditch loot boxes in multiplayer in favor of a 'Battle Pass' system for post-release content are likely among the reasons for this year's record-setting performance.
"Through the first three days, Modern Warfare has more total players and total hours played than any Call of Duty opening release in the last six years. More importantly, our players are having a great time playing," said Activision president, Rob Kostich. "Congratulations to Infinity Ward and all our teams involved on an incredible game and its spectacular launch. We also want to thank the community for your incredible support. The launch of Modern Warfare is only the start. There’s much more to come."
Development of this year's Call of Duty was led by Infinity Ward with Beenox, High-Moon Studios, Raven Software and Sledgehammer Games as supporting studios. The game is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Blizzard's Battle.net launcher on PC.