Sorry, 'Red Dead Redemption 2' - the new 'Call of Duty' is already the best-selling game of 2018

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Blackout)Activision/Treyarch

  • The latest entry in the annual "Call of Duty" franchise is a massive hit.
  • "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" was the best-selling game of October, and the best-selling game of 2018 - at once.
  • "Call of Duty" is always a popular franchise, but this is an especially impactful achievement given the competition from "Red Dead Redemption 2."

"Call of Duty" is a behemoth in the world of video games, and this year's entry is the latest proof: In less than a month of sales, it's already the best-selling game of the year. The game has made well over $1 billion.

"Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" is the latest entry in the long-running first-person shooter series. It arrived on October 12 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC platforms.

More than just a smash hit: In the half month it was available, the game quickly rose to the top of the charts. It's already the best-selling game of 2018, besting even "Red Dead Redemption 2" (which also launched in October, albeit weeks later). That's according to the monthly report from The NPD Group, a market research firm.

"'Call of Duty: Black Ops 4' launch month dollar sales represent the eighth highest in video game history since The NPD Group began tracking in 1995," NPD analyst Mat Piscatella says. Sales were so strong, in fact, that "Black Ops 4" is retroactively the second-best selling game since October 2017 - only bested by the previous "Call of Duty" game, "Call of Duty: WWII."

Call of Duty: WWIISledgehammer Games/Activision

That's an especially impressive feat given the launch of "Red Dead Redemption 2" on October 26.

The long-awaited sequel to 2010's "Red Dead Redemption" from Rockstar Games, "Red Dead Redemption 2" was the most-buzzed about game in 2018. It's a critic's darling, having already cracked the top 20 highest-rated games of all time, and a blockbuster hit as well: The game made nearly $1 billion in its first three days. That means "Call of Duty" Black Ops 4" made well over $1 billion.

Since The NPD Group tracked the four-week period ending on November 3, it captured nine days of "Red Dead Redemption 2" sales in its monthly report. Comparatively, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4" had 22 days of sales - a crucial difference.

Also of note: "Black Ops 4" is on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 - "Red Dead Redemption 2" is only on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 thus far.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (Blackout)&quotCall of Duty: Black Ops 4"/Activision

This year's "Call of Duty" was a major departure for the series. "Black Ops 4" completely dropped a single-player, narrative-driven campaign in favor of all multiplayer.

In its place, a new mode named "Blackout" was added - a "Battle Royale" mode similar to "Fortnite." To the surprise of skeptical critics, the new "Blackout" mode is a fresh, smart take on a game mode that's already proven to be hugely popular. If nothing else, it's a strong added value to a package that is otherwise strong on its own.

Whether "Call of Duty" can maintain its momentum remains to be seen. With the addition of an online mode coming to "Red Dead Redemption 2" in the coming weeks, and an extremely enticing Black Friday sale that bundles the excellent "Spider-man" with a $200, brand new PlayStation 4, things could quickly change. But, thus far, the newest "Call of Duty" looks to continue the franchise's long reign of sales dominance.

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