Black Ops clears $1 billion

When you have a number in the the billions, it is hard to truly conceptualize. Language is only a representative of concepts, and the concept of one billion of anything is simply too large to fully accept. Call of Duty: Black Ops has reached that insane milestone, and since its release on November 9, the game has gone on to earn 1 billion one dollar bills. It is a staggering achievement, and one so large that it is easy to under appreciate.

Besides simply hitting the incredible plateau of nine figure sales numbers, it has also set the record for the speed in which it did it. That marks the second record for Black Ops– the first came after the game sold over $650 million in its first five days.

“In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and “Avatar” have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly,” Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard said today in a press release to investors.

“This is a tribute to the global appeal of the Call of Duty franchise, the exceptional talent at Treyarch and the hundreds of extraordinary people across our many Call of Duty studios including Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer that work tirelessly on the franchise. Our ability to provide the most compelling, immersive entertainment experience, and enhance it with regular, recurring content that delivers hundreds of hours of audience value, has allowed Call of Duty to continue to set sales and usage records.”

The press release also mentioned that to date, more than 600 million hours had been logged playing since launch.

Kotick is justifiably proud of these figures, following the brutal and well publicized split between developer Infinity Ward and Activison following Infinity Ward’s mega-hit Modern Warfare 2. If the truth of what actually happened between the two is ever revealed, it will be done in court, but both sides have vilified the other, leaving gamers with a bad taste in their mouths and doubts for the future of the franchise. If the sales results of Black Ops are any indication, the franchise should be fine. And if not, the billion dollars should ease the blow.

The next Call of Duty title has not been officially announced, but there is no reason to suspect that Actiivision will break its pattern of releasing a new title each November. The even money is on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which is being handled by the remnants of Infinity Ward, but Activision also recently assigned Sledgehammer to work on a Call of Duty game as well that may be space based. Expect leaks on the next Call of Duty to begin soon, with an official unveiling at E3.

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