The disaster in the sales of Call of Duty, Battlefield 2042 or GTA Trilogy, is it really?

Sales figures in the video game industry are a difficult “weapon” to handle. Sometimes, even the companies themselves encounter problems when communicating these numbers. It wasn’t that long ago that Sony was congratulating Sucker Punch Studios on reaching 8 million Ghost of Tsushima units sold.


And at that time Jeff Ross, director of Days Gone at Bend Studio (a team that also belongs to to PlayStation) complained that his game had reached the same number, and yet it had been considered a failure for the company.


It is clear that there are many factors at play when talking about sales (such as whether it is “full price” or reduced units, production costs, the marketing campaign, the development time or the base installed consoles).


However, for some time now, I have read many articles (or have heard colleagues from other media) talk about games that had been a “resounding failure” when the numbers They haven’t been bad.

What should be considered a bestseller? Of course it depends on the type of game. For an “indie” reaching a million copies sold can be a success, while a triple AAA below 10 million, as was the case with Days Gone, can be considered a failure.

Lo It is bad to fill your mouth with statements that are exaggerated, and convey an untrue image of the market. What do I mean? To speak lightly of the “failure” of Call of Duty or GTA Trilogy.

It is true that if we compare the initial sales of the game with previous installments of the franchise. Only COD Modern Warfare (the original) sold less launch units in these last 14 years. In relative terms it’s a blow to the franchise.

But in absolute terms the picture is different. According to the consultancy NPD, Call of Duty Vanguard (2021) was the best-selling video game of the year in North America, followed by Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War (2020).

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In Japan, Vanguard started with two positions in the top 10 best-selling games (second place for the PS4 version and fifth place for the PS5 version). Sales, yes, have dropped by 50% compared to last year’s delivery.

And of course, it is also among the best-selling games in Europe in 2021. It seems that the most correct statement is not that it is a failure in sales, but that it has not met expectations. Something similar can be said of Battlefield 2042, below expectations, but with the fifth place among the best-selling games in the US.

To know what GTA Trilogy has sold we have to do math (I remind you that this blog is about sales, that for the quality of the games we already have our Call of Duty Vanguard reviews, Battlefield 2042 reviews and GTA The Trilogy Definitive Edition reviews).</p

According to the recent results conference of Take Two, the GTA franchise has reached 370 million units, of which 160 million correspond only to GTA V (which is still in top form, to a month to arrive on PS5 and Xbox Series X). It is the second best-selling video game of all time.

Last November the results of the previous quarter were presented, and then the franchise had reached 355 million, of which 155 belonged to GTA V (Red Dead Redemption 2 was already in the impressive figure of 62 million units).

If the franchise has increased 15 million, of which 5 correspond to GTA V, it is that the trilogy has sold 10 million units in just three months (with a delay of the physical editions included). Again, a very high number in objective terms.

So, while sales may not have been as high as expected, they may not be the “disaster” that some have called it.

It was better to stick to statements like those of the CEO of Electronic Arts, Andrew Wilson, in which he described the start of Battlefield 2042 as “disappointing”, despite the fact that it has been the second best in the history of the saga .