Just one more match. Have you ever been ensnared by a late night Call of Duty binge, propelled by the inviting countdown clock seductively ushering in match after match? "Stay and play a little longer" it seems to whisper in counter to any thoughts of turning in. Transfixed by the challenge to make the next match better than the last, the minutes melt away into wee hours. As it turns out, you are not alone.

Gaming magnate, Activision, announced earlier this week that the Call of Duty game franchise has now eclipsed staggering sales of over 400 million units for their collective of premium offerings. The landmark achievement spans the full legacy of the popular franchise; from the namesake original in 2003 through the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War last fall.

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Early versions of the addictive first-person shooter were set exclusively in a World War II environment. These video games, expressed through a historical lens, earned initial acclaim, but with a fervor limited to a niche audience.

However, the franchise exploded in popularity with 2007's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which deployed familiar game mechanics in a more contemporary setting. As the top selling game for 2007, many consider this first Modern Warfare installment to be a turning point, launching the franchise towards its present day prominence.

In addition to touting their recent breakthrough in the premium gaming market, Activision also boasted that Call of Duty: Warzone, the publisher's pioneering foray into the free-to-play market, has now attracted over 100 million players globally. The press release provided some rather compelling context about this milestone for the surging cross-platform product:

  • More than the world's current estimated population, over 8.01 million teammates have been revived during Warzone gameplay.
  • Over 28.2 billion Warzone matches have been endeavored to date, a value akin to the competition associated with 67.3 million major tennis tournaments.
  •  Dropping into the Warzone, users have deployed more than 26.4 billion parachutes. The area of those parachutes would cover the game's signature game map, Verdansk, more than 135,000 times.

Likely to the satisfaction of the Activision marketing team, rumors have been swirling about the release of the next installment of the beloved Call of Duty series. While a new release for 2021 has indeed been confirmed, other details have been (perhaps intentionally) sparse.

Interestingly, it has been widely speculated that Activision may take the series back to its roots with the pending chapter paying tribute to the heroes of World War II. This conjecture has yet to be substantiated, but if last year's rollout agenda preceding the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is any indication, more details on the setting and theme of the pending installment will likely be made available this summer. It is also probably safe to assume a characteristic fall release, which has long been favored in order to take advantage of the strong holiday market.

Until then, you will be in good company as you indulge in the vast library of existing Call of Duty titles. You can rest assured that hundreds of millions will have your back as you answer that call to duty. This news originated at the Call of Duty Blog.