Downloadable map packs for Activision's blockbuster Call of Duty
first-person shooter series have reached 20 million units sold worldwide, the publisher revealed today.
The milestone is significant, particularly because downloadable content like extra maps have higher profit margins than retail boxed games, which have significant per-unit materials and distribution costs.
Publishers generally expect to sell downloadable content to a smaller base of users than their associated retail games, but the Call of Duty
map packs have seen a stronger reception than most DLC. Activision didn't give a breakdown of how many map pack units were sold for each Call of Duty
The series has seen paid downloadable content since Treyarch's Call of Duty 3
. The practice continued with Infinity Ward's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
and Modern Warfare 2
, as well as Treyarch's Call of Duty: World at War
. In several instances, the series has set DLC sales records on various platforms.
As of late last November, several weeks after the release of Modern Warfare 2
, the Call of Duty
series had sold a total of 55 million units at retail. That means the total paid DLC attach rate for retail units sold is technically more than a third; in reality, it is higher, since early Call of Duty
games did not make use of paid post-release content. Furthermore, some DLC units were likely sold to purchasers of used copies, further muddying the issue.