Friday’s release of Activision’s annual frag-’em-up franchise has set a new record for the publisher, moving more digital copies than any other game in its catalogue and beating out previous number one, 2017’s Call of Duty: WW2. On the flip side, and maybe not entirely unexpectedly, the game’s disc version is clocking its lowest sales numbers in more than a decade, and get used to it because the cyberfuture is now.
According to the press stuff, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 also set a new PlayStation record for day one digital full game sales on PlayStation Store, was the best-selling Activision Xbox One digital game on day one, and its PC day one sales doubled year on year. So it’s kind of a big deal for profit margins, but also for a paradigm shift in purchasing trends. As Eurogamer reports, the game’s day one disc sales in the UK were down 50 percent on WW2 and 59 percent compared with Black Ops 3, making up about 10 percent of Modern Warfare 3’s disc sales in 2011.
Hey, remember when Microsoft announced that the Xbox One was designed to focus on online distribution, content licences, and user account management and the internet had an apoplexy because what about the smell of new discs, omg? Huh.