Activision appears to have another hit on its hands with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4—and that could be bad news for Fortnite.
The publisher says digital sales of the latest game in the juggernaut series, which was released Friday, had the most day one digital sales of any title in the company’s history. Activision (ATVI) did not release specific sales numbers, but said Black Ops 4 also set day one digital sales records on both the PlayStation and Xbox digital storefronts. PC digital sales were double that of last year, the company added.
While the records are less impressive without hard numbers to back them up, digital sales are the increasingly preferred way for gamers to purchase titles, which bodes well for the total sales figure for Black Ops 4.
“We have shattered multiple digital day one sales records, and the number of people who connected online on day one to play has grown year on year,” said Rob Kostich, executive vice president and general manager of the Call of Duty franchise for Activision, in a statement.
While every Call of Duty release is an industry event, this year’s version was especially noteworthy. Fortnite fever is still running strong with gamers, many of whom are typically core Call of Duty players.
As a result, Black Ops 4 ditches the single player campaign that has been a hallmark of the series. Instead, the game will focus entirely on multiplayer action, including a mode called “Blackout,” which follows the same Battle Royale rules found in Fortnite (players are dropped into an ever-shrinking area, where the last one alive wins the game).
At stake is a mind boggling amount of money: Fortnite is bringing in an average of up to $2 million per day. Some analysts say the game has peaked, though, citing viewership declines on Twitch. If so, that could open a window for Activision to convince them to switch loyalties to its flagship franchise.