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Black Ops Cold War breaks the top 20 best-selling games of all time

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War
(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is one of the best-selling video games in US history, according to NPD Group analyst Mat Piscatella. 

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Black Ops Cold War broke the top 20 best-selling games in US history (based on when US game sales tracking began) in January 2021, just a few months after its November 2020 release. It currently sits in 20th place, although the entire top 20 has yet to be released by NPD. These are pretty staggering statistics, especially considering Black Ops Cold War has only been out for a few months. 

According to Piscatella, it even took the crown for best-selling game of 2020 with only two months of sales underneath its gun belt - although it must be noted that the company did not factor Animal Crossing: New Horizons digital sales into the mix, which could very likely push the Nintendo title into the top spot. It's important to note that the NPD statistics are based on dollar sales, so it's unclear how inflation factors into rankings.

The popularity of Black Ops Cold War could be tied to the free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone. The two games were integrated in December 2020, with multiplayer maps and cosmetics shared between the two, so many may have picked up Black Ops Cold War to bolster their Warzone content. 

We know that the new Call of Duty game 2021 will happen at some point this year, so let's see if that will be able to pull in as impressive sales numbers as Black Ops Cold War. Considering Activision reports that Call of Duty has "the largest player community it has ever had to start a year" in 2021, I wouldn't be surprised if we saw some record-breaking sales numbers yet again. 

Even the Call of Duty: Warzone invisibility glitch can't stop the sales.

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Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.