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Activision says Call of Duty: WWII sold twice as many copies as Infinite Warfare

All things old are new again

Call of Duty: WWII - soldiers look around the corner of a bunker Sledgehammer Games/Activision
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

After wringing its hands publicly over the weak sales of last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Activision was quick to announce today that Call of Duty: WWII is selling well. A press release issued today claims that WWII has sold twice as many units as Infinite Warfare did at launch, but did not include hard numbers.

Activision said that WWII “set a record as the best-selling digital full game by units sold on its first day of availability” on the PlayStation 4. The statement goes on to claim that WWII’s opening day sales, in dollars, beat out Thor: Ragnarok and Wonder Woman’s opening weekends combined.

Note that the average price of a movie ticket in the U.S. is somewhere under $9.00, while a full-price console game is $59.99.

WWII takes the Call of Duty franchise back to its roots, telling the story of the U.S. Army’s First Infantry Division from D-Day on and refreshing the series’ trademark multiplayer offerings.

News of its success comes on the heels of a disappointing call with investors in February of this year. At the time, Activision chief operating officer Thomas Tippl said 2016’s Infinite Warfare had “underperformed” and noted that “it's clear that for a portion of our audience, the space setting just didn't resonate.” Fan feedback was clear from the outset, when that game’s announcement trailer garnered nearly 400,000 downvotes in short order, making it one of YouTube’s most disliked videos of all time.

Of course, we don’t have any hard numbers to compare the sales of WWII and Infinite Warfare. Doubling the unit sales certainly sounds spectacular, but two-times a low number could easily be just another low number.

In our review, Polygon said WWII was a marked contrast to the futuristic settings of the series’ last two entries, but “changing the time period only highlights how little has changed.”

In each episode of Quality Control, a Polygon editor talks to a critic after they review a new game, movie or piece of gear and allows them to add a little bit of extra context and insight.

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