As a caller on Ron & Fez reminded us a little while ago, Call of Duty: Black Ops (also known as BLOPS) had the biggest entertainment launch in history, taking in some $360 million in first-day sales. But as we all know, that’s a reasonably misleading statement. How do you compare “entertainment launches” across different entertainment, um, sectors? Let’s take movies. If one person buys BLOPS, then Activision makes ~$60 (minus retail’s cut of the action, etc.). Yet if one person sees Avatar in 3D, then Fox makes ~$15. (It’s around $15 to see a 3D movie in New York.) So if 10 people buy the game, that’s ~$600 in Activision’s bank account. If 10 people see Avatar in 3D, then Fox makes ~$150. So, yeah, not really a fair comparison.
But, credit where credit is due: that’s an awful lot of people buying and playing the game. Nicely done, Activision.
Well, PC gamers bought the game, though I’m not too sure how many people can be said to be actually playing it.
Activision says it sold 4.7 million units in the US and the UK.
I still maintain that Half-Life 2 is the better single-player experience (as if saying “Half-Life 2 is really good” is a controversial opinion!), but I fully understand that not many of those 4.7 million people bought BLOPS for its single-player campaign.
You’re free to disagree with my opinion (but you’re wrong).