Activision CEO: Call of Duty is as popular as Facebook, texting

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We just posted a Black Ops parody, but the news doesn’t end there. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick spoke with CNN about the insane popularity of the newest Call of Duty game, which he claims is so popular it is on par with common activities like texting and Facebooking. “More people play Black Ops every day than watch Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon, combined,” Kotick gloated. “The audience of Call of Duty is probably greater in terms of size … than in any other interactive form of entertainment.” 60 percent of all Xbox Live traffic comes from Call of Duty games, he added.

Kotick also took the time to diminish the creative input of Infinity Ward, the developer responsible for the Call of Duty franchise and last year’s billion dollar hit Modern Warfare 2. Activision and Infinity Ward’s creators went through a huge tussle earlier this year, ending in a majority of staff quitting the developer and a flurry of lawsuits. Treyarch, developer of Black Ops, made the cool stuff, he says. “Multiplayer has been largely developed by Treyarch,” even in games like Modern Warfare, which were credited to Infinity Ward,” Kotick said. “I don’t think Treyarch got their due for how much they contributed in the production and polish to the multiplayer.”

Finally, Kotick mentioned Blizzard (one half of Activision Blizzard) and how successfully they listen to their fans. Future Call of Duty games should do the same, he thinks. “Blizzard really created the model for how to do this successfully and effectively, making sure the community of World of Warcraft players has incredible influence on the future of the product,” Kotick said. “There’s so much more that we can deliver to our players.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops has grossed $1 billion in less than two months and gamers have logged more than 600 million hours since its Nov. 9 release. Read our review here.

Kotick seems to label Call of Duty multiplayer as a sort of “new thing” or revolutionary idea. While it is undoubtedly fun, it’s hard to say it’s anything new, mostly borrowing from the successful formulas created by the Battlefield series and other established shooters. It’s popularity may come partially because of a lack of quality competition lately.

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