When talking about the most popular shooter games in the industry, three franchises quickly come to mind: the Battlefield series, Tom Clancy video games, and the Call of Duty series. Each of the three has their legion of fans and detractors. And arguing which of the three is the true king of the shooter genre is just like arguing between an orange and an apple — there is no real answer, only perspectives.
But at least in terms of sales, the Call of Duty series is the undisputed king of the hill, and has been that for the last seven years in the United States. And on a global scale, the acclaimed shooter series has just been announced to have hit the 250 million mark in unit sales according to its publisher, Activision.
That’s already 250 million fans taken into account.
In today’s ever-growing video game industry, with tons of games popping up from both established gaming giants and promising independent game development studios, it’s quite hard to pull off a seven-year run as the most dominant franchise in the United States. And it’s even more amazing when the booming mobile gaming industry is also taken into account.
Call of Duty series’ new blueprint
Yes, the franchise has annual releases to consistently rake in the sales, but those sales wouldn’t come if the game’s publisher hasn’t put in the necessary effort to make the series as it is today.
In fact, Activision has sort of recommitted to the Call of Duty series by being more thorough with their annual releases instead of just rehashing previous installments to milk money.
The gaming giant has put in a three-year rotation plan which involves three different developers — Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, and Treyarch — taking turns in developing the annual releases. The plan allows each developer to have the full three-year development time frame, which usually translates to a well-developed game instead of a shameless money-grab.
As long as Activision does not suddenly get greedy or get into a beef with one or two of their developers, it’s safe to assume that the Call of Duty series will continue its path of dominance in the coming years despite a formidable than ever market.