Black Ops top selling game ever, 13.7m US units sold

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 11 March 2011 16:32 GMT

NPD revealed last night that Call of Duty: Black Ops is the best-selling game in history, topping the former title holder Wii Play.


Speaking in her industry note last night, NPD’s Anita Fraizer revealed (via IG) that the title was not only the top-selling game every month since its release in November, but that the title has now moved 13.7 million units in the US alone.

If you do the numbers, the game was released on November 9, meaning it has been out for at least three and a half months. Dividing the figures by the months, we’ve figured it has moved approximately 3.9 million units each month since release.

Sales figures by the month

At one time, Modern Warfare 2 was the “biggest entertainment launch ever”, raking in $310 million day one in North America and the UK according to internal Activision estimates. However, when Black Ops launched, it usurped its predecessor with opening day sales of $360 million combined in both countries.

The game sold 1.4 million units in its first day in the UK, making £58 million in revenue, and sold 5.6 million units in its first day in North America, eventually grossing $650 million in first five days worldwide.

According to NPD figures, the title moved 4.9 million units on Xbox 360 and 3.1 million on PS3 during the month of November 2010, topped the charts again in December, and sold an additional 750,000 units in January 2011. The game has stayed on top of the NPD software charts since launch, making it not only the best selling-game of 2010, but as of February 2011, the best-selling game of all time.

During Activision’s last earnings call, it revealed that Black Ops had sold over $1 billion during its first six weeks at retail. It also claimed it was the the biggest selling PS3 game of all time, citing NPD, ChartTrack and GfK as sources.

Playing by the numbers

Figures for online play in the game are just as staggering as the sales figures. During its last financial call to investors, Activision stated that since Black Ops was launched in November, players spent an average of 52 minutes per day playing online, roughly equivalent to the 55 minutes that the average user spends each day on Facebook.

As of February 2, 2011, more than 27 million gamers have played Call of Duty games online, logging more than 2 billion hours, or the equivalent of more than 229,000 years of gameplay. CEO Bobby Kotick commented that “the amount of players online with Black Ops is equal to the number of Netflix subs.”

Stats released by Major Nelson for Xbox Live concur, with the Microsoft spokesperson stating that on launch day alone, more than 2.6 million folks played online logging 5.9 million multiplayer hours on XBL.

By January, 20 million Black Ops players logged 600 million multiplayer hours within eight weeks, meaning that since launch, an average ten million hours per day were played. During this time, over 1.1 trillion shots were fired in 161 virtual wars every day.

Black Ops has stayed on top of the multiplayer charts on Live since November 9, and was the most played game on the service in 2010.

Needless to say, the game is very popular.

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