Vague but notable
Activision, without divulging any actual numbers, has told us that Black Ops 4 sold very impressively on its launch day. In a press release, Activision says this year’s Call of Duty had the series best day one digital sales on all platforms’ online storefronts. Additionally, Black Ops 4‘s PC sales doubled WWII‘s.
It’s gaudy-seeming but is it really all that impressive? Kind of, sorta, maybe? It’s important to remember that this particular game is tailor-made to suit an online audience. Black Ops 4 is multiplayer-only and features a battle royale mode. It’s a Call of Duty that takes aim at PUBG and Fortnite. No one buys physical copies of those games, so why would they buy a physical copy of Black Ops 4?
There’s another facet to this accolade, though. Black Ops 4 had the “biggest day one digital release in Activision history.” That includes Destiny 2, which also certainly had a gigantic launch day. However, that comes with a caveat too. Destiny 2‘s release was staggered. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One went live nearly two months before the PC version. Black Ops 4 benefited from a unified launch.
Even if we don’t know the specifics, it feels as though we know the takeaway: Black Ops 4 had a successful launch, and that’s largely because people are interested in a Call of Duty that strays from the last ten-plus years of Call of Duty. Is this a reinvention or just a temporary detour? Whatever it is, it seems to have worked this year.