There are few things that video game publishers--or any consumer products companies, for that matter--like more than reaching big, notable milestones.
So it was with considerable pride that Activision's wholly owned Infinity Ward studio told me Tuesday that its war game, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, has just sold its 10 millionth copy.
Infinity Ward studio head Vince Zampella didn't know exactly how many units the game had sold on each platform it is available on--the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC--but did say that COD 4 had been most successful on the Xbox.
These days, monster hits like Grand Theft Auto IV and Halo 3 have gotten most of the media's attention for best-sellers, but by reaching 10 million sold, there's no doubt that COD 4 deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as any other title.
And to be sure, it's not the only game that has reached 10 million units moved--Infinity Ward said that COD 4 is one of "less than 10" games to do so since 2000--but it's still a notable milestone, especially when you consider that, at a sticker price of $60 a pop, even when considering that you can buy it for less at some retailers, Activision has raked in many hundreds of millions of dollars with the game.
Of course, one wonders how many more copies it would have sold had it been available on Nintendo's Wii. But Zampella said that Infinity Ward decided not to make the game for that console because "it just doesn't fit on the Wii. We thought it would be compromised to be on (that) platform."
Well, with Guitar Hero III, Halo 3, and Grand Theft Auto IV inspiring record-setting sales in their own right, we might easily see a few more games reach the magic 10 million mark soon. And the next Call of Duty, COD 5, which is being produced by Tryarch, not Inifinity Ward, might see even bigger numbers.
Indeed, Zampella acknowledged that COD 4 has set the bar very high for his studio, and it's hard to imagine Infinity Ward being able to come right back with another 10 million-seller.
But, COD 4 still has some juice left. He suggested that the game is still selling, that it's map pack add-on has sold 1.5 million copies, and that the main game itself is expected to sell a lot more copies this holiday season.
True or not, hats off to Infinity Ward on reaching a milestone few ever reach.
On June 10, Geek Gestalt hits the highways for Road Trip 2008. I'll start in Orlando, Fla., and visit many of the South's most interesting destinations. Stay tuned, and be sure to keep up, both now and during the trip, with what I'm doing on Twitter.