In 2021, more than a million PlayStation players only played Call of Duty

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(Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty is a dominant force in console gaming, and the ongoing FTC case against Microsoft serves as a potent reminder of that fact.

Last night, reporters covering the latest development in the Xbox Activision deal discovered that some of the documents Sony had submitted had been incorrectly redacted, meaning information in those documents could still be deciphered. The biggest takeaway was the $200+ million budgets for games like The Last of Us Part 2 and Horizon Forbidden West, but information about the ongoing strength of Call of Duty was also uncovered.

CharlieIntel notes a passage that begins by stating that "more than 13 million unique PlayStation users have played Call of Duty." That's two-thirds of the console's US user base who have dipped into the franchise, but there's also evidence that points out how die-hard some of its fans are.

In 2021, Sony claims that "about 1 million users spent 100% of their playing time on Call of Duty." Additionally, while the average player spent 16 hours per year playing Call of Duty, six million spent 70% of their time on the platform with this specific franchise, amounting to an average of 296 hours a year.

All that game-time adds up to some significant spending. The Verge notes that "CoD represented $800 million in PlayStation revenue in the United States alone," totalling around $1.5 billion worldwide. That's before we count for in-game purchases, which PlayStation chief Jim Ryan said amounts to $15.9 billion per year, on average. 

All this goes a long way towards explaining why Sony is so afraid of an Xbox-exclusive Call of Duty. Millions of extremely loyal fans leaving PlayStation to go and spend their time and money with Xbox would be a significant hit, and even if a partnership deal is reached, there'll be a ticking clock hanging over the franchise.

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan wasn't worried about Call of Duty becoming Xbox exclusive after Microsoft Activision deal was announced.

Ali Jones
News Editor

I'm GamesRadar's news editor, working with the team to deliver breaking news from across the industry. I started my journalistic career while getting my degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick, where I also worked as Games Editor on the student newspaper, The Boar. Since then, I've run the news sections at PCGamesN and Kotaku UK, and also regularly contributed to PC Gamer. As you might be able to tell, PC is my platform of choice, so you can regularly find me playing League of Legends or Steam's latest indie hit.