So you knew that Call of Duty: Black Ops is the best-selling game of this generation (though not of all time, however Activision might spin its numbers). And you knew that Modern Warfare 2 sold a metric shitload before it. But did you know the exact numbers of units shifted? Possibly not, as Activision has often favoured referencing profits over sales figures. But now things have changed. And ye gods, are those numbers terrifyingly large. Like, ogre-on-the-back-of-an-elephant-on-the-strange-giant-mystery-planet-from-Land-of-the-Giants large. In fact the numbers are so large that they're impossible to wrap the human brain around when detailed in mere numerological abstraction, so I've provided some easily comparable real-world comparisons over the jump so that you can get into your head just how soul-shudderingly large these numbers are.
First up, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 have sold 25 million copies and 22 million respectively. Big numbers indeed. Combined they add up to 47 million. An even bigger number. Quake, puny mortal, before the mighty power of maths. And while it may be cheating slightly to use that combined tally from this point on, I'm going to. Firstly, because its sheer size makes for pretty conclusive evidence of this series' success, and secondly because I've found a few really nifty comparisons that reference similar numbers. Which comparisons have I found? I have found these comparisons:
The Ukraine: The eastern European country has a global coverage of 603, 628 kilometers squared. That's a pretty big country, by mainland European standards. It also has a population of 47 million. The last two Call of Duty games combined have sold 47 million copies. That's one for every man, woman and child in the Ukraine. Oh the LAN-party they could have.
Finding Nemo: As well as causing people to continue to repeatedly yell "Mine!" long after it stopped being funny, Pixar's Finding Nemo holds the record the for best-selling DVD ever in the history of all things ever. It sold 40 million copies. The last two Call of Duty games sold 47 million copies. This is a bigger number than 40 million, by roughly 7 million.
AC/DC: Screeching Australians AC/DC have one of the best-selling albums of all time in Back in Black. It is only bettered by Michael Jackson's 110 million-selling Thriller. Back in Black has sold 49 million copies since 1980. The last two Call of Duty games have sold 47 million copies since 2009. By way of even further comparison, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon has sold 45 million since 1974, and The Beatles' St. Pepper album has sold 32 million since 1967.
I'm going to round this article off right now. I'm going to have to, as I've just noticed that Shania Twain's Come on Over and The Backstreet Boys' Millennium have both sold 40 million since the late '90s. And that Mamma Mia! is the best-selling DVD in the UK ever. And I've also just remembered that Shadows of the Damned has only sold 70 thousand copies worldwide. And if I read any more stats like those I'm going to have to kill the world.
August 04, 2011