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Call of Duty launch sales fall 40% when compared to last year

Call of Duty: Vanguard is struggling to make an impact with gamers as UK physical and digital sales are down post-launch.
Call of Duty launch sales fall 40% when compared to last year

It has been more than a week following the highly anticipated release of Call of Duty: Vanguard and things aren’t looking good for Activision-Blizzard's blockbuster FPS franchise. A reputable report recently provided key information on the performance of Vanguard during its opening week across multiple markets including the United Kingdom.

The game hasn't been particularly well-received with many over the WW2 setting and more enthral with the free-to-play battle royale mode, Warzone which has yet to be integrated with this latest title.

COD Vanguard sales struggled at launch

According to a GSD report, which was first reported by Games Industry.biz, Vanguard game sales in the UK struggled in its first week when compared to the previous COD entry, Black Ops Cold War.

The report revealed that game sales for the latest COD entry are reportedly down by 40% year-on-year in contrast to Black Ops Cold War’s launch.

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Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold outperformed Call of Duty: Vanguard at launch. (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

Both physical and digital sales for Vanguard saw a massive drop post-launch. To be more specific, the year-on-year physical game sales are down by 26% while digital sales are falling behind at 44% when compared against Black Ops Cold War.

These results aren’t too surprising for most COD players as there hasn’t been much hype surrounding the game ahead of its launch and critical reviews have been mixed upon reception. As such, it could be safe to assume that the franchise may be experiencing some fatigue over the last few years for which many players have openly expressed their frustrations.

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COD players have expressed previously that the franchise has been feeling stale over the past few years. (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

Despite this, Vanguard is the UK's second-biggest gaming launch of 2021, behind only FIFA 22. While it is uncertain as to the reasons behind the game’s lacklustre launch, many are citing the current woes befalling its publisher, Activision Blizzard.

The embattled publisher is currently facing a lawsuit filed against them by the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (CDFEH). This lawsuit allegedly accuses Activision Blizzard of engaging in abusive, discriminatory and retaliatory behaviour against its female employees.

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Could the recent controversies plaguing Activision Blizzard be the main culprit behind COD: Vanguard's lacklustre launch? (Picture: Activision Blizzard)

While these factors could have possibly contributed to the negative sales numbers, there are plausible reasons that could be considered.

For one, the free-to-play battle royale game, Call of Duty: Warzone continues to be well-supported and COD Mobile has just begun its latest season.

The launch date of Vanguard also didn’t favour them, likely feeling the pinch with the impending launch of Battlefield 2042 and Halo Infinite. Whether any of these are to be blamed for the underwhelming success of Vanguard remains to be seen, though with Warzone's integration into Vanguard on the horizon the game is likely to get renewed interest in the coming months.


Don’t forget to check out our dedicated Call of Duty section for the latest news, updates, esports coverage, guides, leaks and more.

Featured image courtesy of Activision Blizzard.

For more Call of Duty news, be sure to check out our dedicated section or some of our MW2 Guides & Tutorials below:

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