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There's no doubt that Call of Duty is a blockbuster franchise across any stretch of entertainment media. It's managed to become a mainstay heavy-mover in the sales department since the seventh generation of gaming. Activision actually decided to thank fans for making the series the billion-dollar franchise that it is, year in and year out.
The NPD Group announced this week that 2018 marks the 10th consecutive year that Call of Duty is the best-selling console video game franchise of the year in the U.S., which would only be possible with support from this amazing community. [...] We’ve been honored over these past 10 years to see the community come together, showcasing some truly incredible moments. Whether it’s jaw-dropping skills, frenetic clips or just some funny experiences, we’re honored to serve the most passionate community around.
The blog also contains a complete list of the top 10 games from each year that managed to top the charts from the Call of Duty franchise.
The list includes the following games:
2018 – Black Ops 4
2017 – WWII
2016 – Infinite Warfare
2015 – Black Ops III
2014 – Advanced Warfare
2013 – Ghosts
2012 – Black Ops II
2011 – Modern Warfare 3
2010 – Black Ops
2009 – Modern Warfare 2
Technically, it started before Modern Warfare 2. The series really took a step into the blockbuster era with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare back in 2007. The game came out during an explosive moment in gaming, competing with other high-profile games like Halo 3and the original Mass Effect. Yet it managed to hold its own and go on to become one of the best-selling games of the year.
In 2008, Treyarch introduced gamers to the highly lauded and viscerally violent Call of Duty: World at War. It was one of the first World War II games featuring a dynamic story mode that allowed you to play different factions that weren't just the U.S., and British forces. The game was also the first one to include the Nazi Zombies mode, which would go on to become one of the most popular features in a Call of Duty game.
The mixture of Hollywood-style cinematic set-pieces in over-the-top, straight-laced campaign modes, combined with the ever-growing multiplayer options, is what helped keep Call of Duty in the books as a best seller. That's the case even with negative-hype surrounding a game like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which had one of the most downvoted trailers on YouTube. EA also gave Activision a real run for its money with the release of Battlefield 1, which usurped a lot of the market share from Call of Duty.
However, Activision bounced back the following year with the 2017 release of Call of Duty: WW2, which would put the company back in the good graces of gamers and set the stage for the 2018 outing of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which extricated the campaign mode in favor of a Battle Royale mode. Despite losing out on one of the franchise's core features, the game still went on to become a best-selling title of 2018.