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Activision's Tippl:  Call Of Duty: Black Ops  Generates $360m Day One
Activision's Tippl: Call Of Duty: Black Ops Generates $360m Day One
November 11, 2010 | By Kris Graft

November 11, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Activision's newly-released Call of Duty: Black Ops generated more revenue than its predecessor Modern Warfare 2 on its opening day, CFO Thomas Tippl said Thursday at the BMO Capital Markets Annual Digital Entertainment Conference in New York.

Tippl said the multiplatform game, developed by Activision's internal studio Treyarch, sold through approximately $360 million in North America and UK retail on day one.

"This represents a 16 percent increase over Modern Warfare 2, and sets yet again a new record for entertainment launches across any form of entertainment," he said. Modern Warfare 2 generated $310 million in its first 24 hours.

[UPDATE: Activision said in a press statement that Call of Duty: Black Ops sold through about 5.6 million units in North America and the UK on day one, up from Modern Warfare 2's 4.7 million, according to internal Activision estimates.]

The performance is validation that the Call of Duty brand can stand on its own -- last year's Modern Warfare 2 was developed by Infinity Ward, the series' creator that had been considered by many as the "A team" for the series.

Earlier this year, many members of Infinity Ward, including company founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, left Activision amidst controversy over royalty compensation to form independent developer Reswpan Entertainment.

Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops has garnered very strong critical reviews. The game follows top secret military black operations.

"There has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day sales records two years in a row, which represents the pop culture phenomenon that Call of Duty has become," said Tippl.

The CFO also thanked shareholders who "have always been convinced that Modern Warfare 2 was just another milestone and not the end of a record-breaking journey."

Tippl also confirmed that Activision plans on supporting Call of Duty with "our largest digital offering ever" in 2011, and the company "continues to make progress" in finding a partner for Call of Duty in China.

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John Corey
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Two years in a row as a record? Probably because most games last longer before sequels emerge. This is just about marketing hype (to be seen if deserved) for the bran and little to do with game quality. I was surprised how quickly MW2 multiplayer grew tiresome on me. But yet something ancient like CS/TF2 is a blast to play still.

I'll sit it out and see what happens in the coming months before buying any CoD this time around.

Joshua Sterns
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Just because you do not enjoy the game doesn't mean it lacks quality. The metacritic scores have been consistently high for CoD. The sheer numbers of on-line players is another indication that a large portion of the gaming population believes the game is fun. The consistent sales year after year denotes an appetite for more (even if it is mostly more of the same).

I don't like RTS games but can recognize the quality in Star Craft II. I prefer to play Halo over CoD and L4D, but I still recognize the high quality of the later.

matt landi
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They may have beat MW2, but they also backed it with more marketing dollars than any of the previous CoDs. Activision also stated in an earlier article that the pre-orders beat MW2 which also has something to do with such good day one sales. I'd be very surprised if Black Ops beats MW2 in total sales figures.

gus one
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Technically Black Ops is competing with WAW not MW2. So this is a real bonus for ATVI. The next MW variant is what we should be comparing to MW2. So an additional $500m in revenue is going to keep us shareholders very happy especially as it plugs teh music genre gap.

matt landi
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Personally if I was a stockholder I'd be a little disappointed. Ever since the merger Activision Blizzard has been the only major publisher to consistently turn a profit, but aside from a stock split their shares really haven't done much.

gus one
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They paid and dividend and bought back $1bn of shares this year. So as a shareholder you get a nice income and own more of the company as there are less shares in issue. That's a win win.

Paul Lazenby
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The commercials have been pretty amazing, though the one with Kobe is probably not selling the game, just trying to make the brand look hip

Daniel Sopel
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I've been burnt out on FPS's for a while, but I can't deny for a second that the commercials piqued my interest. The gameplay ones look incredible, and the one with average people in the warzone was awesome. My girlfriend and I were laughing out loud, despite the thrashing our local NFL team was taking when we saw it.

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David Delanty
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Naw, naw, Kobe isn't selling the game.

The fry cook with the dual pistols and awesome moustache is. <3

Jason Wilson
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More first 24-hour sales than MW2 are to be expected. The Treyarch Call Of Duty games are spring boarding of the success and quality of the IW games. (I will say that Treyarch's work has improved since CoD3.) This is a year after MW2; there are MANY more machines and fans ouut there now, this being a multi-platform release (360-PS3-PC-Wii).

Jonathan Jennings
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after watching the Giant bomb quick-look I can safely say black ops has piqued my interest in ways MW2 never did. I think at the point one of the writers/ reviewers of Giant bomb displayed the computer terminal you could actually hack into I fell in love.

Mark Harris
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It's a quality game with tons to do. In fact, I like it more than MW2 so far.