Activision just held its earnings call covering the financial results from the fourth quarter of 2020, revealing that Call of Duty had its biggest year in the history of the series.
Specifically, Activision announced that the series reached over 100 million monthly active players across all games including Warzone, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Black Ops Cold War. In the fourth quarter of 2020 alone (from October to December), the series had 128 million monthly active users.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's sales grew 40% year-over-year, with a “strong shift” to digital downloads, though it didn't specify the ratio in the report.
Battle pass sales were stronger than ever, and according to Activision, “Cold War and Warzone content has seen the highest number of battle passes consumed since the introduction of Call of Duty’s new in-game system in late 2019.” Microtransaction sales grew by over 50% in the fourth quarter of 2020 alone.
“Warzone will be central to our future content planning, and a place for our fans to come together to see the latest in the franchise offerings.” Confirms they are making significant investments to deliver into the future.
— Call of Duty News (@charlieINTEL) February 4, 2021
As shown in the tweet above (thanks, Call of Duty News), Warzone will continue to be a major pillar of the Call of Duty ecosystem. Activision said “Warzone will be central to our future content planning, and a place for our fans to come together to see the latest in the franchise offerings.
“Our player expectations are very high for new content, and rightly so, and we want to make sure we over deliver on that.
“Warzone is the best way to communicate with our fans. Cold War reveal event attracted a large audience.”
The Cold War reveal referred to above featured a series of tasks in Warzone that — if completed — showed the trailer for Black Ops Cold War prior to its release. The game was officially unveiled through Warzone and fan reception to the reveal was overwhelmingly positive.
Unsurprisingly, Activision also announced that a new Call of Duty game will be coming later in 2021, though it did not mention which developer is in charge of making it.
Since 2005, the series has gotten an annual release. Typically, the Call of Duty games run on a three-year development cycle, alternating between Infinity Ward (Modern Warfare, 2019), Sledgehammer (WWII, 2017), and Treyarch (Black Ops Cold War, 2020). Though 2020's entry was supposed to be developed by Sledgehammer, due to complications, it was shifted to Treyarch.