The producer Activision unveiled today (Friday 30th) the first trailer of the new game in the series “Call of Duty”. “Black Ops” to be released on November 9th to the United States will take the player on missions that passes between the end of World War II and the Cold War.
Developed by Treyarch studio, the new game will attempt to continue the success of the franchise after “Modern Warfare 2″, released last year and broke all sales records.
The title of the first-person shooter genre has been in production since the late 2008 and is the first game of the series that will be part of a new plan Activision’s strategy to use the “Call of Duty” in other media digital.
If you think Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has had a major impact on just the video game industry, you may need to adjust your expectations.
According to Activision Blizzard, the game’s publisher, Modern Warfare 2 has set records across the entire entertainment industry.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is the “biggest entertainment launch in history,” Activision said in a statement. In its first five days of availability, the game set a worldwide record with about $550 million in sales, according to internal Activision figures. It’s impressive. But more impressive is the list of launches that it beat out.
In the first five days of availability, Modern Warfare 2 has eclipsed the largest worldwide box-office opening, held by “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” which tallied $394 million over its first five days. It also beat “The Dark Knight,” which holds the U.S. box-office record with $203.8 million in first five-day sales.
The game also narrowly trumped Grand Theft Auto IV, which captured $500 million in sales in its first five days of availability.
In other words, Modern Warfare 2 has had a major release.
The game’s success also translated to major numbers on Xbox Live. Activision reported that “more than 5.2 million multiplayer hours were logged playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on the first day alone.” On November 10, 2.2 million unique gamers played on Xbox Live, setting a new one-day record for the online-gaming platform.
Of course, it should be noted that all these figures come from Activision’s internal estimates, which might differ from the NPD Group’s official totals when it announces November video-game sales.
But until then, Activision can (rightfully so) celebrate Modern Warfare 2′s success. And maybe the video-game industry, which has always received second billing to film in the entertainment space, can finally stake its claim to the top spot. Video games are, based on Modern Warfare 2′s success, just as viable an entertainment platform as movies.
It’s oh-so enticing: you find a copy of a brand new game like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on a pirate site and the temptation to download it is too strong.
Well, that temptation may have cost up to 1 million users of Microsoft’s Xbox Live the ability to use that service. According to a report in InformationWeek, Microsoft has banned as many as a million players from Xbox Live for altering their consoles in order to play pirated versions of games.
This week, Activision’s new Call of Duty was released, and InformationWeek speculated that because pirated versions of the game appeared on various sharing sites in advance of the release, the game’s developer may have exhorted Microsoft to enact the bans.
“Xbox 360 consoles are equipped with digital rights management technologies designed to detect pirated software,” InformationWeek wrote, “but some players have successfully ‘modded,’ or modified, their machines to circumvent DRM protections.”
Even if someone has been banned, their Xbox will still play offline games, InformationWeek said. But it’s not at all clear if the bans are permanent or if Microsoft will allow those who have been booted from Xbox Live to return at some point down the line.
And on the Xbox support page, Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson, has addressed some of the circumstances that could lead to a player’s being banned.
“When a Gamertag comes up as violating our policies for online behavior, the person who owns that Gamertag is punished by being banned from the service. Keep in mind, this isn’t just a ban on a particular game. This is a ban on the Xbox Live service as a whole, so you won’t be able to go online at all during your ban. Initially, you may be banned for a day, a week, or depending on severity, permanently! Kiss that $50 goodbye.”