Call of Duty: Black Ops has the dubious honour of being the most pirated videogame in 2010, as reported by Torrentfreak from public BitTorrent trackers.
The most popular format for pirates is by far the PC, with Call of Duty: Black Ops downloaded 4,270,000 times for that format. And in second place? Battlefield Bad Company 2, with 3,960,000 – and that’s considering BFBC2 was released in March, compared to Black Ops arrival in November.
The piracy figures for the Xbox 360 were rather different – Dante’s Inferno topped the list with 1,280,000 downloads. Call of Duty: Black Ops came in fifth with 930,000 downloads.
That puts the total pirated downloads of CoD: Black Ops at 5,200,000. Fortunately that doesn’t seem to have stopped the game from already reaching $1 billion in sales, or from gamers achieving a huge amount of online hours in the game already.
In just 45 days since the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops, gamers managed to log more than 600 millions hours, or the equivalent of more than 68,000 years!
In a press release by publishers Activision, that figure is equated to exceeding the average viewership for the 2010 Major League World Baseball series, the audience for the series finale of Lost, and would make Call of Duty: Black Ops the third largest state in the U.S.
And gamers are continuing to average 87 minutes online every single day, which is larger than the 55 minute daily average of Facebook. That’s in addition to already topping $1 billion is sales.
“The $1 billion milestone is staggering, but it doesn’t tell the whole story,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “The true measure of Black Ops’ success lies in the millions of hours that people are investing in this game and this community. Call of Duty has in many ways become one of the world’s most engaged social networks. We are grateful to and humbled by the ongoing support of the gaming community and we are committed to continuing to give them the greatest gaming experiences that we can.”
Those figures are likely to be boosted by Christmas sales and new players – certainly a lot of low rank players have appeared in the last week, making it a good time to be online and taking advantage! And there is likely to be another boost for both online activity and Activision’s bottom line when the first DLC content pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops is released on February 1st, 2011.
Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitello has added to the evidence that Battlefield 3 will arrive in the second half of 2011.
Speaking with IndustryGamers, he summarised EA’s first-person shooter output in 2011 as, “Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm, and then our big focus is Battlefield 3 in the second half of the year.”
This adds to the fact that anyone buying the limited edition version of Medal of Honor, EA’s other military shooter, was promised an invite to the Battlefield 3 beta testing phase within 12 months of MoH’s October 2010 release.
He also revealed that EA should sell around 10 million units of Medal of Honor and Battlefield:Bad Company 2 combined in 2010, and questioned the ability of Treyarch as the continued developers of the Call of Duty series for Activision. (IndustryGamers).
Call of Duty: Black Ops has crossed the $1 billion (£648 million) sales mark in under six weeks, having already broken U.S records for pre-order sales, and hitting $650 million (£420 million) in the first five days of release.
That five-day total topped the previous record for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, by $100 million (£65 million). As Activision boss Bobby Kotick has said, “In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and Avatar have ever achieved the billion-dollar revenue milestone this quickly.”
So far, gamers have racked up more than 600 million hours in CoD:Black Ops, and the average player logs on for more than an hour a day, every day.
In addition to the sales record, Call of Duty is also part of a legal battle between Activision and Electronic Arts, in a $400 million battle following the departure of Jason West and Vincent Zampella from Infinity Ward following the release of Modern Warfare 2. Their new company, Respawn Entertainment, has a publishing and distribution deal with EA.
Call of Duty: Black Ops was developed by the Treyarch studio for Activision. Treyarch previously developed Call of Duty: World at War.
It’s recently been revealed that the first DLC pack for Black Ops, the First Strike pack, will be released on February 1, 2011.
Battlefield 1943 was a download-only remake of the start of the Battlefield series, and as such was an experiment for publishers Electronic Arts. It appears to have paid off, with the development costs in ‘single-digit millions’ according to an EA spokesman, and revenues of $16 million. And that’s after the appropriate share has been handed out to Microsoft/Sony.
It was very much a stripped down affair, with multi-player only maps lifted from Battlefield 1942, and much enhanced graphics. It’s obviously particularly interested as the Battlefield Bad Company Vietnam package is based on similar lines (although you’ll need a copy of Bad Company 2 to play it).
The Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam expansion pack will arrive on December 18, 2010 for PC and December 21, 2010 for Xbox 360 and PS3. The PC version will be released exclusively via the EA Store and Steam outlet. All other PC digital outlets will get the expansion pack on December 21st, alongside the console versions.
You’ll be able to battle as either a US Marine or member of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), on four all-new multiplayer maps, and you’ll also have access to new weapons, vehicles, achievements and trophies. It will be available for £9.99, or 1200 MS Points.
That’s in addition to the free VIP Map Pack 7, which was released on December 1st, with four free multiplayer maps. And if you haven’t invested in Bad Company 2, but fancy trying it now, UK retailer HMV is offering the Ultimate Edition, including DLC content, for £17.99.