Activision has attempted to balance out the attention lavished upon rival game franchise Grand Theft Auto by announcing that $1 billion worth of Call of Duty: Ghosts copies have been sold to retailers.
This is not the same as announcing sales to consumers but it does give an early indicator of Ghosts’ success, suggesting that the title will be the biggest seller in the holiday season. Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is certainly keen to push this, stating in a press release that “Call of Duty is by far the largest console franchise of this generation".
“More people have played Call of Duty this year than ever before, logging four billion hours of gameplay,” said Kotick. “Although it is too early to assess sell-through for Call of Duty: Ghosts, it’s launching at a time when the franchise has never been more popular.”
The game launched at 15,000 midnight openings around the world and proceeded to shoot up to the top of Xbox Live’s most played list. Its predecessor, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, took 15 days to reach $1bn of consumer sales, a figure that GTA V achieved in just three days.
Ghosts has also received mixed reviews from the critics, with many criticising it for failing to introduce any new features and simply repeating the successful formula (especially in multiplayer) of previous titles.
Metacritic’s aggregated scoring currently ranks rival shooter Battlefield 4 higher than Ghosts for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. For the latter the scores are 82 to 76, for the former 87 to 78. Both titles are beaten by GTA V, which scored an aggregated score of 97 on both consoles.