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'Tis The Season — COD: Black Ops 2 Has Record Sales On Opening Day
By: Kevin Weaver
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It's that time of year again, folks. The time of year when pumpkins on the porch are replaced with wreaths hanging on the front door, neighborhoods begin to light up with the warm glow of Christmas lights, and holiday music can be heard anywhere and everywhere. All of this can only mean one thing: Call of Duty Season is upon us. Just as sure as the leaves change colors or the sun rises and sets, developer Treyarch released its annual installment: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. 

Activision Publishing announced that the game made over $500 million in the first 24 hours after its release on Nov. 13. This eclipses Halo 4's release figures, which were $220 million on the first day and Modern Warfare's  $400 million. Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick, stated that the life-to-date sales of the Call of Duty franchise have passed worldwide theatrical box office receipts for both Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time. It's expected that Black Ops 2 will generate another $1 billion haul much like its prequel.

These record-breaking sales are amidst a perceived decline in the console gaming industry. The video game industry experienced a 24% slump in sales this past year, which was mostly due to the rise of cheap social gaming. Video games have changed drastically in the past few years from the actual design, size, and functionality of the systems. This is how it used to work: Gaming systems were plugged into the wall and that was it. Pretty simple, right? Now there are portable devices like PSPs and smartphones that can fit in your pocket and do way more than just video games. In fact, 40% of all activity on Microsoft's Xbox is non-game activity. Systems like the Xbox or Playstation 3 allow users to stream movies and watch videos on Youtube among other things.

Gone are the days of simple, arcade style games such as Frogger, Super Mario Brothers, and Sonic the Hedgehog.  But, are traditional gaming consoles going to die out completely? Definitely not, thanks to giant franchises such as Call of Duty and Madden. The $10 billion industry now has video game releases that are hyped as much as movie premiers or the Super Bowl. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, the Madden of first-person shooters, used an ad campaign that featured four trailers while AC/DC's Back In Black (get it?) played in the background. These trailers featured various aspects of the game including the multiplayer options and the zombie portion. 

A major positive from all this is the way the multiplayer and online functionality of games today have strengthened the gaming community among diehard users. It cannot be stressed enough how important a sense of community and loyalty is to any brand. It will be interesting to see how other games will respond to Black Ops 2 and what they will do to top it. 
 
The evolution of gaming has traveled a very long distance in a very short amount of time. Who would have thought ten years ago, while sitting cross-legged on the floor playing Sonic the Hedgehog on a Sega Genesis, that we would be able to play a video game with someone halfway across the world in real time?


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About the Author
Kevin Weaver is a marketing professional in Wichita, KS with two years of experience. Past and present work includes email marketing compaigns, client e-store development, social media, and destination marketing.
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