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Call of Duty franchise tops $10 billion, Advanced Warfare sales not released

I don't know what's more interesting: That the Call of Duty franchise has now topped $10 billion in sales worldwide since kicking off in 2003, or that Activision didn't release any hard numbers for the launch of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Instead, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick fell back on generalities to hit home the point that the latest in the robust franchise was a hit.

"Since Activision created the Call of Duty franchise in 2003, franchise revenues have exceeded $10 billion in sales worldwide, far exceeding box office receipts for such household movie franchises as Hunger Games, Transformers, Iron Man and Avengers, combined," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of 2014 in terms of revenue, surpassing all movie, music and book launches this year."

While that's an impressive factoid, it's not backed up by any hard numbers. Compare that to previous Call of Duty games where Kotick positively crowed about the huge numbers for Activision's big money earner.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, for instance, pulled in $310  million in revenue in the first day of sales in the U.S. and U.K. Modern Warfare 3 grossed $400 million in the U.S. and U.K. within 24 hours of going on sale. Black Ops sold through 5.6 million copies in the U.S. and U.K. in the first 24 hours and Black Ops 2 grossed $500 million in the first day. When relatively poorly-received Ghosts launched, Activision talked about how many copies they sent to retailers. And now with Advanced Warfare all we hear is that it out-earned other entertainment products this year and that its first week was better than Ghosts' first week.

The company did say that the game is the "highest-selling digital launch in console history," that according to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and their own estimates. But still no solid numbers.

What numbers we do get are all connected to player time. The first week after launch of Advanced Warfare, according to Activision, resulted in gamers playing more than 370 million online matches and leveling up over 200 million times in online multiplayer.

"We poured our hearts into making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare an epic ride, and we are pleased with the performance," said Eric Hirshberg, CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. "Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous. We believe Advanced Warfare will be the most successful game of the year and we thank our fans for making it the biggest entertainment launch of the year."

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