As part of its earnings report today, Activision Blizzard revealed that the Call of Duty had its strongest year ever in 2020. The series had over 100 million monthly average players during the year, and net bookings were at about double what they were in 2019.
Call of Duty has been an annual franchise for over a decade, and each installment becomes one of the best-selling games (if not the best-selling game) of its year. Lately, the franchise has become more versatile than ever. On top of yearly premium release, Call of Duty Mobile (which just had its best quarter ever) gives phone players a free-to-play version of the shooter. Warzone, meanwhile, is a console and PC free-to-play battle royale that has grown popular.
Like most of gaming, Call of Duty got a big bump in 2020 as the quarantined public turned to games for entertainment and socializing. When the pandemic started, that meant lots of people flocking Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which came out in 2019.
Call of Duty: Black Ops — Cold War then debuted in November and, as is usual for the franchise, became a giant hit. Activision Blizzard notes that premium unit sales (meaning sales of full priced games like Modern Warfare and Black Ops — Cold War) grew 40% year-over-year.
Daniel Alegre, chief operating officer at Activision Blizzard, said in an analyst call that the franchise has generated $27 billion in revenues to date since 2003. Activision also said that Call of Duty: Mobile, which already had 300 million downloads, has had tens of millions of downloads in China since launching there last month.
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