The big picture: The latest Call of Duty game continues to set records for Activision. Modern Warfare II launched on October 28 and is already considered the highest grossing entertainment launch of 2022, besting Hollywood's top movies including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Top Gear: Maverick. The game's three-day opening weekend was the most profitable in the series' 19-year history and the hits keep coming.
According to Activision, the blockbuster crossed $1 billion in worldwide sell-through in its first 10 days. The previous Call of Duty franchise record-holder, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, needed 15 days to cross the milestone back in 2012.
In announcing the achievement, Activision said player engagement continues to trend north. In the first 10 days, MW II players logged more than 200 million hours and played more than a billion matches across Xbox, PlayStation and PC.
No doubt key to MW II's early success is its availability on Steam. This is the first Call of Duty game in five years to launch on Valve's digital distribution platform instead of exclusively via the Battle.net client on PC. A quick check of the Steam top sellers list reveals MW II is leading the pack.
Activision has more in the pipeline. Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 launches on Xbox One, Xbox Series, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC on November 16. The free-to-play battle royale game is a direct sequel to the 2020 Warzone title and is technically part of Modern Warfare II, but does not require the base game to play.
Related reading: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II Multiplayer Benchmark
The longer-term outlook is not so clear. Rumors surfaced earlier this year claiming 2023 would be the first year without a new Call of Duty game. Instead, the company is expected to fill the gap with premium and free-to-play Call of Duty experiences which some believe is PR speak for a mix of paid and free DLC for Modern Warfare II and / or Warzone 2.0.