This story doesn’t strictly have too much to do with music – although there’s a nice tie to Universal/Vivendi.
It’s just one of those figures you just have to sit and marvel at.
Activision Publishing has confirmed that Call of Duty: Black Ops III, the latest iteration of its long-running video game shooter series, sold through $550m in its first three days on sale after hitting US shelves last Friday (November 6).
That, says the company, makes it the biggest entertainment launch of 2015, including theatrical box office, music and book launches.
To put it in context, Jay Z paid around $54m (€50m) for TIDAL earlier this year – less than a tenth of the new CoD’s opening weekend revenues.
Fans apparently played more than 75 million hours online in Black Ops III’s opening three days.
“Call of Duty’s millions of passionate fans have shown us, yet again, the strength of their commitment to this enduring franchise,” said Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s Chief Executive Officer.
“Call of Duty: Black Ops III is the biggest entertainment launch this year in any medium, and bigger than any theatrical opening weekend ever.”
Bobby Kotick is an interesting character for those who enjoy the music business soap opera. Because he’s basically the Lucian Grainge of video games. Or at least, he was.
“Call of duty black ops III is a bigger launch than any theatrical opening weekend ever.”
Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard
Like Grainge’s Universal Music Group, Activision Blizzard was owned by Vivendi until mid-2013, when Kotick successfully launched an investment vehicle to buy the company from the French group for $8bn.
Kotick and his co-chairman Brian Kelly stumped up $100m themselves for the buyout.
It would be like Grainge taking Universal independent using his own money, backed by investors.
That would change the game a little, eh?
Anyway, Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, said: “The Call of Duty: Black Ops III launch is bigger than any game, any movie, or any entertainment launch this year.
“But more importantly, our fans are engaging more deeply with the franchise than ever before. In fact, so far, people are playing Black Ops III for more hours per player than any Call of Duty game on record. Call of Duty is more than a game, it’s a year round passion for a growing base of millions of fans and it’s only gaining momentum.”Music Business Worldwide