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Short Thought: Remember Activision Calling Out Rockstar?

Short Thought: Remember Activision Calling Out Rockstar?

Everyone knows that Grand Theft Auto V was a massive, massive hit when it was released in 2012, and continues to sell to this day. What you may have forgotten, was that Activision were not very happy with that.

When GTA V launched - the original PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 launch - it broke records. Several of those records were previously held by the Call of Duty franchise, so Kevin Flynn (senior brand manager in the UK) spoke to MCV about it.

“Congratulations to the team at Rockstar for their success. We look forward to getting the record back before the next GTA title.” he said, then went on to talk about the then-upcoming Call of Duty Ghosts. It’s no longer available on the website for whatever reason, but thanks to the Wayback Machine it’s preserved forever.

Well, the next GTA game isn’t on the horizon just yet, but I took a look at the sales information available on Wikipedia to see just how close things are looking. I’ll stick to games released after GTA V, which sold 11 million copies in 24 hours on PS3 & 360.

  • Call of Duty Ghosts sold over 19 million copies in three months
  • Call of Duty Advanced Warfare sold 27% fewer copies overall
  • Call of Duty Black Ops III sold 6.6 million in seven days
  • Call of Duty Infinite Warfare sold 50% fewer copies
  • Call of Duty WWII has no sales figures, just that it made “over $500 million in three days”
  • Call of Duty Black Ops IIII says the same thing

Those 11 million copies that Grand Theft Auto V sold in 24 hours made $800 million. Red Dead Redemption 2 made $725 million in three days. Both of those were across two consoles, whereas the figures for the first three Call of Dutys in that list include PS3, PS4, Xbox One, 360 & PC, and Ghosts even includes the Wii U. The other three figures include Xbox One, PS4 & PC.

What makes the poor sales of Ghosts so galling for Activision, is that the game was a launch title on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. So, it’s a good thing that Flynn claimed that they would reclaim the title before the next GTA - which could still be as many as five years away.

Obviously, I’ll be keeping an eye on Call of Duty Modern Warfare. No doubt it will earn “over $500 million in three days”, then a billion by Activision’s next annual general meeting - because that’s all they do these days…

Short Thought
Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan


Guaranteed to know more about Transformers and Deadpool than any other staff member.

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