Hate it or not, Call of Duty belongs is among the most influential video game franchises of all time. The first game in the Call of Duty franchise was released two decades back, and since then, there have now been over 30 games released. Call of Duty games is typically first-person shooters that take place in a variety of settings, including World War II, modern warfare, the future, and even in a zombie apocalypse.
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The Call of Duty franchise has been incredibly successful, both critically and commercially. Its games have won numerous awards, and they have sold over 300 million copies worldwide. In fact, the gaming series currently stands atop the most profitable gaming franchises ever, grossing over $30 billion in its lifetime. This beats out other titanic names in the industry, such as Pokemon and even Mario himself!
There is no denying that Call of Duty is one of the most popular franchises in the world. It transcended the gaming space, becoming a major cultural phenomenon in itself. That said, is the Call of Duty franchise still a household name in 2023? Was it able to capture the interest of today’s gamers just as it did in the past generation? Well, let us find out.
The Call of Duty Franchise in 2023
Just a few years back, gamers are wired to expect a new entrant in the Call of Duty franchise each year. Regardless of whether the previous game was received well or not, it is almost certain that Infinity Ward and the guys at Activision Blizzard will release another Call of Duty game one way or another. It is almost as if the franchise was a sports game because of its probably mandatory annual releases.
Predictably, this led to series fatigue. Gamers, even the diehard fans of the Call of Duty franchise, now began growing tired of the popular FPS game. Because of it, each following game in the franchise seemingly got worse reviews.
Both gamers and critics argue that the Call of Duty franchise no longer prioritizes quality and customer satisfaction. It’s as if they are so confident that a lot of people would buy their games regardless of their overall quality, that they are compelled to release a new game each and every year.
Thankfully enough, the franchise learned its lesson and reevaluated its priorities. They no longer chase for an annual release and are now focusing more on delivering great games. The latest Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare 2, was released in October 2022, and it was a massive success. The game sold over 25 million copies in its first week, and it is awarded as the best-selling game of 2022.
Now, to get back to our initial query. Well, the answer is a resounding yes. In fact, now that the franchise is seemingly refocused, an argument can be made that the Call of Duty franchise is in the best spot today than ever. We can confidently say that the series is as strong as ever and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
What is the Most Popular Game in the Call of Duty Franchise?
Now that we have established that the Call of Duty franchise is still popular in 2023, and perhaps will continue to be in the foreseeable future, let us take a trip down memory lane and relive the top 10 most popular Call of Duty games in history. Here they are in descending order:
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010) – 31 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011) – 30 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012) – 29 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013) – 28 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015) – 26 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2022) – 25 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2007) – 25 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: World at War (2008) – 22 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) – 21 million copies sold
- Call of Duty: WWII (2017) – 19 million copies sold
It is worth noting that these sales figures only include physical copies of the games. It is worth noting that the sales figures shown above do not include digital sales. The actual number of players who have played each game is likely much higher.
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