Surprise! Infinity Ward’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” has been announced by Activision as the best-selling game on Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One during the first quarter of 2014. The 2013 first-person shooter outsold even Respawn Entertainment’s “Titanfall” and Sucker Punch Productions’ “Infamous Second Son," though both titles didn't launch unti March. Activision reportedly pulled in $1.11 billion in revenue during this time, down 16 percent from $1.32 billion during last year’s first quarter. “Call of Duty: Ghosts” was the second best-selling game in Europe and North America overall, coming in second behind the company’s successful platformer “Skylanders: Swap Force.”
During an analyst conference call earlier this week, the Santa Monica, California-based publisher revealed its net profit had dropped to $293 million during 2014’s first quarter from $456 million earned during 2013’s first quarter.
“Our better-than-expected performance was driven by record digital sales in Blizzard Entertainment’s franchises, including ‘World of Warcraft,’ ‘Diablo’ and ‘Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft,’ a new free-to-play game which had already registered more than 10 million users as of its March 11, 2014, launch on Windows and Mac, in addition to Activision Publishing’s ‘Skylanders’ and ‘Call of Duty’ franchises,” Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said.
“Call of Duty: Ghosts” launched last year for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PC and Wii U. The game hit shelves on Nov. 15 in North America, the same day the PlayStation 4 became available to consumers. One week later, the game launched worldwide for the Xbox One on the same day as the Microsoft next-gen console launch in 13 countries. However, the title reached “COD” fans for the Xbox 360, PC, Wii U and PS3 on Nov. 5.
How did the tenth primary installment in the popular franchise accomplish this? The answer may be simpler than you’d think. When both next-gen devices launched last fall, there weren’t a myriad of first-person shooter games available. EA DICE’s “Battlefield 4,” which was also available for the Xbox One and PS4, frustrated users with its high number of glitches and bugs. Though “Ghosts” was given some lackluster reviews, it was still the better option for players who wanted a reliable first-person shooter.
Kotick also discussed the coming launch of “Destiny.”
“We have a strong product pipeline for the balance of the year, beginning with the Sept. 9 planned launch of ‘Destiny,' which we believe could become our next billion-dollar franchise and the largest new video game IP launch in history. ‘Skylanders: Trap Team’ and ‘Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ expected to be released on Oct. 5 and Nov. 4, respectively.”