Call of Duty UK sales fall 48.4% over Black Ops III

It's still the second biggest launch of the year after FIFA 17

Update: Despite Week One boxed sales being down by almost half, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare revenue was down by a slightly more palatable 25 percent compared with the Black Ops III launch.

This is due to the higher price of the Legacy Edition, which had a price of £69.99 in the UK and contained a copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered - a remake of the hit 2007 title.

Original Story: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was the No.1 boxed game in the UK this week, but Week One sales were down 48.4 percent compared with the same period for last year's Black Ops III.

It's the fiercest drop the franchise has suffered since it became one of the world's most popular entertainment properties following the success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2007.

There was no PS3 or Xbox 360 version this year, however even just comparing the PS4 and Xbox One figures shows a sales drop of 43.6 percent.

Activision has changed its strategy a little with the series, and has put an increased emphasis on generating more revenue from its fans via DLC, special editions and microtransactions, as opposed to growing user numbers. Nevertheless, such a steep fall will come as a big disappointment to the firm and to UK retailers.

This was still the second biggest UK game launch of the year after FIFA 17. However, Call of Duty now finds itself playing catch-up with its biggest rival, Battlefield 1, which has already passed over half a million sales in the UK - the game has been on sale for two weeks longer.

It is important to note that all of these statistics do not factors in sales made via Steam, PSN, Xbox Live or EA Origin.

An Activision spokesperson said in a statement: "According to GFK, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the No.1 shooter/action game week one launch of 2016 in the UK. Our fans are loving the great campaign, deep multiplayer and '80s inspired zombies, not to mention the incredible bonus content of Modern Warfare Remastered. We look forward to a great holiday season and beyond."

Call of Duty's performance follows the disappointing launch of Titanfall 2. That EA game suffered a relatively mild 41 per cent week-on-week drop in its second week, but it is still selling well below what would have been expected for the IP.

It once again calls into question the logic of launching three huge first person shooter games within such close proximity.

There was one other new entry in the physical retail charts this week, Football Manager 2016 at No.6. The PC game almost certainly would have performed far better than this once you consider digital sales.

It wasn't all bad news for Activision, Skylanders Imaginators has returned to the Top Ten following recent TV advertising, with sales rising 131 percent week-on-week.

All figures are courtesy of UK physical games tracker GfK and UKIE.

Last WeekThis WeekTitle
New Entry1Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
21Battlefield 1
33FIFA 17
24The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim Special Edition
54Titanfall 2
New Entry6Football Manager 2016
Re-Entry7Skylanders Imaginators
68Mafia III
99Grand Theft Auto V
1010Forza Horizon 3

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Latest comments (2)

Jeremy Glazman Programmer 5 years ago
"It once again calls into question the logic of launching three huge first person shooter games within such close proximity."

...or the logic of spending so much money developing slight iterations of games in oversaturated genres. The decision to try to get more money out of a smaller number of players (via DLC, special editions, and microtransactions) shows that they expected this drop in overall sales and they're ok with it.
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Christopher Dring Publisher, GamesIndustry.biz5 years ago
It's all well and good generating more revenue via merchandising and digital add-ons, but you nevertheless need the customers there first - and a 50% fall puts all of that in trouble.

Of course, it might be consumers are being more patient, and holding off releases.

And I generally agree about the saturation in the futuristic shooter market.
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