Activision will have you believe that Call of Duty: Ghosts is a massive success thanks to over $1 billion in launch day sales. The spin that everybody is picking up on is that their statement read as follows:
Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), announced today that the company sold more than $1 billion of Call of Duty®: Ghosts into retail stores worldwide as of day one.
While this number certainly nothing to scoff at because Activision will definitely be making money off of the latest installment to their breadwinner, but the key to this PR spin is that these are numbers sold into retail stores. Not the retail take. Not the number of units sold. The number they’ve sold to GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and the like.
The reason for the PR spin is obvious as Activision is now independent from Vivendi and they are constantly pushing for more support on the stock market. Secondary goals of the press release statement are that Activision wants to remind the public how massively popular Call of Duty is, especially in the wake of Take Two selling more than $800 million in Grand Theft Auto V on its launch day.
All this PR spin might very well be critical for Call of Duty for the long haul because reviews have not been kind to Ghosts, likening the entry as the FPS equivalent to a sports roster update. Couple the subpar reviews with the confusion of next generation sales (i.e. which version should I buy?), the Call of Duty brand finally appears to be vulnerable after several years on top. Couple the new weakness with intriguing next generation entries of Destiny and Titanfall, Call of Duty just may have seen its time on top come to an end.
The negativity surrounding Call of Duty: Ghosts shouldn’t be surprising, it was received with a resounding ‘meh’ at the Xbox One reveal and recently gamers have discovered that Infinity Ward is doing their best impersonation of Michael Bay by recycling an in-game cutscene from Modern Warfare 2.
All flash. No plot. Reusing action sequences. That’s the
Michael Bay Call of Duty way.