Numerous games have challenged the Call of Duty legacy, but
none have been able to compete with Activision's (NASDAQ:
) most prominent cash cow. Not even World of Warcraft,
billion-dollar baby, has been able to reach the level of success
achieved by Call of Duty. Over the past three years, Activision
has increased the number of units sold for each new Call of Duty
game. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold
units on Xbox 360 and
units on PlayStation 3. A record-breaking
consumers purchased the Xbox 360 version of the first Call of
Duty: Black Ops;
bought the PlayStation 3 version. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
sold an astonishing
units on Xbox 360 and another
units on PlayStation 3.
Activision shares are up more than 23 percent since 2009.
Year-to-date, however, the stock has declined nearly eight
Part of the decline can be attributed to the lack of new hit
franchises. In 2011, the company released Skylanders: Spyro's
Adventures, an unusual video game that allows players to interact
using special action figures. Skylanders surprised investors and
became one of the year's
. The company hopes to
repeat that success
with the release of Skylanders: Giants, which has already moved
on Nintendo Wii alone. That's a far cry from the Call of Duty
series. But unlike other games, Skylanders requires the use of
expensive action figures, many of which are sold separately.
Thus far, Call of Duty: Black Ops II -- the newest Call of
Duty available -- has sold
11.22 million units
across Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, providing Activision with
more than $500 million
in revenue. The game is also available for the Wii U, and another
version has shipped for PS Vita.
While the rest of the video game market has declined, Call of
Duty has managed to provide Activision with a reliable source of
income. This has inspired other game companies to imitate the
franchise with a plethora of similar war games.
The most successful imitation turned out to be Battlefield 3
from Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:
). Released in 2011, Battlefield 3 sold more than
units on Xbox 360 and
on PlayStation 3. Unlike Call of Duty, however, Battlefield is
not updated annually.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.