'Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare' News & Update: Sales Only Half of 'Black Ops III'

By Sonny Go , Updated Dec 14, 2016 05:39 AM EST

Activision has encountered another stumble as "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" retail sales for its first month are reportedly only half of its predecessor, "Black Ops III," which was released a year before. Sales of recent "Call of Duty" titles had been declining since the release of "Call of Duty: Ghosts."

Since "Infinite Warfare" is a whole new universe within the "Call of Duty" franchise while "Black Ops III" is the third iteration of an existing series, the latter was expected to do better. However, analysts have concluded from retail sales figures of "Infinite Warfare" for November 2016 were only half of the first-month sales of "Black Ops III." Retail sales figures only include physical copies purchased; digital sales figures are not included.

What's interesting is that many of the physical purchases were that of the $80 edition bundled with "Modern Warfare Remastered." Also, it's worth noting is that a considerable percentage of the "Call of Duty" player base is on console. With "Infinite Warfare" being the first "Call of Duty" game not released for the Xbox 360 and PS3, the market is understandably smaller.

"Call of Duty" also has a PC following, especially on Steam, so their numbers can be compared through SteamDB. As of this writing, the all-time peak for "Black Ops III" on Steam was 63,681 players on November 8, 2015. Meanwhile, "Infinite Warfare" only garnered an all-time peak of 15,416 players on November 6, 2016. Both dates are a few days after the release of each game. It's also worth noting that as of this writing, "Black Ops III" still gets more concurrent players than "Infinite Warfare."

Being released around the same time as its competitor "Battlefield 1," whose World War I setting is a contrast of the sci-fi trappings of "Infinite Warfare," may have hurt its sales as well. In contrast to the negative press "Infinite Warfare" has garnered, "Battlefield 1" was met with generally positive reactions. While it's not like Activision will be crippled by this setback, it does pose questions for the future of the "Call of Duty" franchise.

In the meantime, Activision has announced that the game will be made free for five days, from December 15 until 20. This is most likely a way to entice more players to try it out and perhaps encourage "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" retail sales to somehow go up during the Holiday season.

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