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Woo? Call of Duty: Ghosts is only the third-biggest UK launch this year


Call of Duty: Ghosts is out now; here’s our Call of Duty: Ghosts review.

Front pages were conspicuously blank last week as Activision failed to announce that Call of Duty: Ghosts was the biggest entertainment launch of all time. Players who’d come to rely on the publisher’s hollering as an sort of annual novelty alarm call inadvertently slept in, and military paraders on standby were forced to abort and make their way bloodily through waiting crowds to an extraction point.

As it turns out, Ghosts wasn’t the biggest entertainment release of all time, nor even the biggest UK game launch of 2013. And it’s not just GTA that beat it to its usual launch spot.

UKIE-endorsed number people Chart-Track recorded launch sales for Call of Duty: Ghosts that placed it behind both GTA V and FIFA 14 last week.

There’s a significant factor to throw in here: neither GTA nor FIFA have announced next-gen versions to hold off for. And more than 99% of UK retail sales were on consoles – the Xbox 360, PS3, PS4 and Wii U.

Even so, our amateur calculations on Wednesday suggested that CoD’s most notable drop-off was happening on PC, where multiplayer launch figures appeared to be 30% down – and where there’s no next-gen to be blamed.

It’s all relative, of course – Ghosts is still the best-selling game in the UK this week. But it’s an unceremonious position for Activision, who so vocally targeted GTA’s top spot just last month.

“Congratulations to the team at Rockstar for their success,” Call of Duty UK senior brand manager Kevin Flynn told MCV in October. “We look forward to getting the record back before the next GTA title.

“We know that our unaided awareness for Ghosts is leading the way against other unreleased triple-A titles,” he added. “Our digital content has proven extremely popular and Black Ops II has sold more than 3m units in the UK.”

He wasn’t wrong about the digital content. Last week we learned that Black Ops II DLC made Activision silly money – enough to make that DLC alone the third-biggest release at retail this year, were it a standalone game. The publishers had better hope that map packs provide Ghosts with a similarly long tail.

Our Fraser’s just now filed his Call of Duty: Ghosts review – and by his account, it’s not a lot of cop. What do you lot make of it?

Thanks, CVG.