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Call of Duty: Black Ops III Enjoys Half Billion in Sales

Call of Duty is one of the best first person shooters in gaming, and Black Ops is one of the best chapters of the whole saga. How do we know that? Because with every edition, it keeps busting sales records, and this week's $550 million in sales is no different. 

Taking place in 40 years after the previous chapter, Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set in a dystopian future where high tech air defenses have made air support more dangerous than fighting on the ground. The result is covert operatives fighting behind enemy lines and using science and technology to get a strategic edge with robotic assault weapons, genetically engineered super soldiers, and the widespread fear that humanity's days are numbered. And then there's the zombies.

Black Ops III has attacked some serious voice talent as well, with stars like Christopher Meloni as Commander John Taylor, Katee Sackhoff as Sarah Hall, Tony Amendola as Dr. Yousef Salim, and Ben Browder and Abby Brammell respectively voice the male and female versions of the Player character. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch even makes a villainous cameo. So it's easy to see why Activision has high ops that Black Ops III will more than double last year's sales.

"Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch this year in any medium, and bigger than any theatrical opening weekend ever ... bigger than any game, any movie, or any entertainment launch this year. But more importantly, our fans are engaging more deeply with the franchise than ever before. In fact, so far, people are playing Black Ops III for more hours per player than any Call of Duty game on record," - Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing.

When you look at the history of the game, it started off relatively modest with the original Call of Duty selling 1.75 million units according to That sum was nearly doubled with the second chapter of the game. Then, Call of Duty 3 was some what of a misstep, dropping even below the first COD with a paltry 1.25 million units sold. 

Clearly, Activision needed to reboot the franchise, and they did it marvelous with the Modern Warfare trilogy, which started with 13.5 million copies in 2007, building to 23,000,000 copies of Modern Warfare 2, and then outselling that by over 10% with Modern Warfare 3. From there, it seemed that Activision could do no wrong, even though in between, Call of Duty World at War only sold 11 million. But that's nearly 10 times more than the original COD, so you can still chalk that up to a win. 

That set the stage for Call of Duty Black Ops which launced with 21.6 million copies, growing again to nearly 25 million copies for Black Ops 2, and in it's opening weekend Activision sold 4.5 million copies of Call of Duty Black Ops 3 for a toral of over a half billion in sales, well on  it's way to being the sixth consecutive games to gross over a Billion dollars in sales.

Toss in the 16.5 million copies of Call of Duty Ghosts (which had a really bitchin space warfare option), and Activision has sold over 175 million copies of their premiere first person shooter franchise, with total sales of over $10 BILLION dollars.

That's insane money, gang.