Activision Blizzard has confirmed that for the 12-month period that ended June 2011, the company has been able to sell an incredible 18 million Call of Duty: Black Ops Map Pack Downloads. With these sales, the company reports that digital download revenue is up $1.7 billion for the 12-month period. These results are a 22 percent increase over what Activision Blizzard was able to generate in digital revenue in the previous 12-month period.
Activision Blizzard has an estimated 30 to 40 million gamers that are playing its titles online, with over 20 million of these being Call of Duty players and an estimated 15 million playing World of Warcraft and Starcraft. This gives Activision Blizzard room to continue to grow the DLC business model; and they intend to grow it even further.
One stat that seems to be quite telling is that the average Black Ops player spent an estimated $76 for each copy of Black Ops sold when you combine the retail game and the downloadable content sold. This shows the continued trend of increasing revenue for the digital downloadable content; and almost every publisher has plans to continue to expand and grow this part of the business with every release that comes out.
Activision Blizzard is expecting even more success for the Call of Duty franchise with the release in November of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3. Modern Warfare 3 has already been breaking pre-order records for the previous installment and with the additional consoles sold this year, the number of COD players is expected to grow by at least 20 percent, according to analyst estimates.
Still, analysts tell us that pressure from Battlefield 3 could put a kink in some of that estimated growth; but no one seems to be sure exactly what role the release of Battlefield 3 ahead of Modern Warfare 3 will have. Battlefield 3 is also breaking pre-order records and has a strong buzz surrounding its release. If nothing else it will be interesting times ahead.