There are two types of video games it’s hard to be a fan of: Officially licensed sports titles and the Call of Duty franchise. Why? Because their publishers drop a new title each year, often with minimal tweaking and maximum “hard-to-keep-up-with-ness.” But in 2019, Activision Blizzard seems to have cracked the code with their soft franchise reboot Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (borrowing the title from their 2007 game-changer Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare). The shooter, released simultaneously for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, has done massive, blockbuster numbers for Activision Blizzard, earning the publishing company over $600 million in their first three days of release alone.
The film industry often struggles to keep up with the attention many generations give video games. Now, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick has the numbers to back this anecdotal evidence. In a statement from the company, Kotick compared Modern Warfare‘s numbers to one of 2019’s biggest film hits Joker. And, well, it makes the clown prince’s fate feel less funny: “In its first three days of release, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare more than doubled the box office opening of Joker.” Shots fired, Arthur Fleck! Literally! Because it’s a game about shooting! Anyway!
Modern Warfare broke a bunch more sales records, too. It’s Activision Blizzard’s best-selling digital opening ever. It’s the number one Call of Duty PC launch of all time, and set records on the PlayStation Network for digital pre-orders. Combine all of that with the title’s numbers on Blizzard Battle.net — and the gamer-friendly fact that there’s cross-platform play available from the jump — and Activision Blizzard is having quite the moment.
But it’s not just Activision Blizzard who deserves all the credit. Rob Kostich, president of Activision, gave it up to Infinity Ward, one of the franchise’s long-running developers, in this statement:
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. 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.
With the title’s longevity more than guaranteed by addictive multiplayer action and DLC, there is absolutely more to come — and more money to be made. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is available now wherever you get video games. For more on the blockbuster FPS, check out the cinematic story trailer.