Sales of map packs for Call of Duty: Black Ops have passed the 20 million mark, Activision reported this week. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision's Publishing Unit, calls the title itself “a driving force behind both retail and digital sales,” saying Black Ops has earned “more revenue than any new major console release” over the past year. However, the success of the title's DLC is another story.
“The revenues generated from Map Packs alone,” says Hirshberg, “would make it the third largest console title of the year..."
Hirshberg points out that the release of September's Rezurrection DLC was a fresh move for the franchise, whose other titles have seen support extend only as far as three map packs. “Not only did [Rezurrection] positively impact our quarterly results,” says Hirshberg, “but it further demonstrates that there is continued consumer interest in the content even 11 months after the launch.” He said this demonstrates a bright future for the newly-launched Call of Duty Elite, which aims to extend titles' lifespan with “a constant stream of new digital playable content.”
Activision President Bobby Kotick echoes Hirshberg's enthusiasm, explaining that the performance of online-enabled franchises like CoD have allowed the company to post better-than-expected revenue for the most recent quarter. When the results from DLC offerings surprise even Bobby Kotick, expect in turn to see even more post-release support for upcoming titles than ever. Also expect to see at least as many downloadable map packs for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which is set to break all sorts of records in the coming weeks.