Black Ops becomes ‘biggest entertainment launch ever’

The new Call of Duty game is kind of a big deal. As Shacknews reports, the franchise’s Black Ops installment sold a whopping 5.6 million units on launch day—just under a million more than Modern Warfare 2 did on its opening day. Those figures are just for the North American and UK markets, and they netted publisher Activision a cool $360 million, making this the "biggest entertainment launch ever."

Reviews of the latest chapter in the Call of Duty franchise have been largely positive, with PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 versions of the title earning Metacritic scores of 87, 90, and 89, respectively. Actual gamers seem far less impressed than the critics, though. The Xbox 360 release currently has a user score of only 6.4, while the PS3 version is down to 5.7. PC gamers think even less of the title, which they’re currently rating a 3.9 out of 10. Ouch.

I’m not surprised to see the title score lower with PC gamers than console folks. Our patience for ports is surely wearing thin. However, I didn’t expect the game to score so poorly with users overall. That makes me a little hesitant to make time for the single-player campaign, especially since the PC gamers over at Metacritic gave Medal of Honor a score of 5.9.

Comments closed
    • Scrotos
    • 9 years ago

    I just don’t really care about reviews and boycots anymore. Doesn’t matter for the game buying population and no one ever boycots stuff.

    You get reviewers going through stuff like this:

    §[<http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2010/11/call-of-duty-black-ops-review-event-press-gifts-detailed.ars<]§ How are you supposed to really believe anything they write? Controlled environments. Even if there's no bias due to the free stuff, no online multiplayer so none of those issues showed up. At least one review gave it a skip: §[<http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2010/11/call-of-duty-black-ops-pc-review-fun-game-with-a-broken-leg.ars<]§

      • swaaye
      • 9 years ago

      Wow isn’t that just insane. I just love how the industry has changed in the past 10 years.

      • Duck
      • 9 years ago

      Good post.

    • yogibbear
    • 9 years ago

    Have not bought this game, won’t buy it or play it, ever. Let’s have a +1.

    • Bensam123
    • 9 years ago

    This is why I never read video game reviews. They’re always done by shills paid to right a piece on how awesome a uninnovative PoS is and people buy it up. Anyone else notice how high number of copies sold seems to ALWAYS correlate with high review scores? It isn’t because the game is THAT good, there should always be inverses in the equation, but there rarely are for video games (like some games selling few units and getting good reviews and some games selling a lot of units and getting crappy reviews).

    I can’t point out a single game that sold a lot of units and got bad ratings. Hell I’m even convinced a lot of video game review writers aren’t even gamers, they just play a hours worth of game time for a title (don’t even touch multiplayer) and write a review on it.

    I agree with the other posters on zero punctuation being a decently good source for reviews.

    Generally the way I look at game reviews, is I always look at the critical points of the game first (WHY does it suck) and don’t read most of the positive aspects unless it’s truly innovative. Depending on much it sucks will also tell you how much it doesn’t suck, since reviewers are often not very critical of games, but will sing a tune and dance a jig just so you slap $60 on a PoS.

      • Joerdgs
      • 9 years ago

      Can’t get more pretentious than that. Don’t mind us having fun over here!

      I’m sure you can relate to this comic:
      §[<http://comics.drunkduck.com/Gamesfield_and_friends<]§

        • TREE
        • 9 years ago

        I think F1 2010 was a great example of the paid reviewers accusation / conspiracy. The game on release was plagued with problems in the single player that more or less rendered it unplayable for months. Yet the reviews said how amazing it was and gave it high scores.

        Heck even a friend of mine who works at Codies (not Birmingham) was shocked at how horrendous the bugs were and could not continue playing it. But yet miraculously reviewers never once saw or experienced any of the bugs…

        • Bensam123
        • 9 years ago

        What fun are you having?

        Here is one of the few accurate reviews of the game. Putting aside the hilariously ridiculous singleplayer (which wasn’t mentioned).

        §[<http://www.destructoid.com/review-call-of-duty-black-ops-186908.phtml<]§ If you read it, basically the game is unplayable in multiplayer. Not unplayable by my standards, literally it's broken to the point that you CAN'T play. Glad everyone rated the game so highly though. We can all tell how awesome it is from the reviews. :) Isn't it sad? All the people on this page who are talking about how awesome the game is haven't actually played it. They're just spouting off random shit they read from reviews, hype, or heard on TV. If they actually had played it, they would realize all the issues multiplayer has. This just goes to show you why crap like this sells.

      • yogibbear
      • 9 years ago

      The recent Medal of Honor seemed to sell okay and get bad reviews. Amnesia the Dark Descent got amazing reviews and sold poorly.

    • Joerdgs
    • 9 years ago

    From what I’ve read, Black Ops is apparently a better game than MW2. Less bullshit in multiplayer (or at least, less unbalanced bullshit) and the singleplayer story is actually ‘believable’. Still not getting it right away though. Ever since Valve and Steam showed me what value I could get for my money I’m barely buying anything full-priced any more.

    • yehuda
    • 9 years ago

    I played the MW2 campaign and thought the graphics were amazing.

    • Thresher
    • 9 years ago

    My issue with this is price. I am not ready to pay $59 for a PC title or $69 for a console title.

    It’s why I didn’t buy the last one either. It’s not a boycott, it’s the simple fact that I can’t afford to buy many new games right now and I am certainly not paying $60 for a title for something that I may not play through more than once and spend a little time multiplayer.

    • finchyo
    • 9 years ago

    Off to play bad company multiplayer now.

      • Joerdgs
      • 9 years ago

      Which reminds me, BC2 is getting 4 brand spanking new multiplayer maps (no mode rehashes this time!) soon.

      FOR FREE.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    The spawn system, incredible lag, and crappy friends system (seriously it’s a huge step back) make this game as it stands a 5/10.

    If they fix all of those, it will be way more fun.

    • TravelMug
    • 9 years ago

    To me, it feels like something is missing. I liked CoD4. Both the SP and the MP. With MW2, it was similar, although I stopped short of the finish with the SP campaign and never felt the need to go back. With MP, I enjoyed it. I mean the matches. I’m predominantly a rusher, hate to stay anywhere for more than a few seconds. I hated the lack of dedicated servers and that it could be laggy as hell. Or the fact that I could not go and play my favorite map anytime I wanted.

    Saying all that above, the feeling from the game is that it’s missing that extra umpf or whatever that would make it great. Even if I disregard the technical shortcomings. On the PC, the MP for me is OK I guess, but that lagginess peopel experience is pretty annoying. Almost like that bug with ATI cards back when MW2 came out. When the game just stops responding sometimes even for a second or two. Unfortunately lowering the texture detail to High did nothing in this case.

    • ClickClick5
    • 9 years ago

    Very simple. Critics are paid to give an orgasam.

    Yahtzee…zero punctuation…
    There is a review.

      • Bauxite
      • 9 years ago

      I love zero P, always a great laugh and usually damningly accurate.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      I like yahtzee’s points, but I don’t like his style. The gimmick of ZP has grown old for me. I wish he would just calmly talk about the games. I like his extra punctuation articles a lot more.

    • ltcommander.data
    • 9 years ago

    I thought MW2 had a lot more hype and fancy launch events so I’m surprised Black Ops outsold it. Although, if they are counting Wii and DS sales, it might just be because they are targeting more platforms.

    • Pettytheft
    • 9 years ago

    Users are burned out on the series in general. They need to take a couple of years off.

      • flip-mode
      • 9 years ago

      +1. I’ve never played any of em and I’m burned out just hearing about them.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    lolz

    I have my htpc up and running and will be firing up the snes emulator come holiday season and logging some hours on chrono trigger, FF3 and maybe the N64 emulator and some Zelda Ocarina of time.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 9 years ago

    And I used to hate on the poor twilight fans.
    $60 for 5 hours of scripted gameplay and a buggy multiplayer thats been done before.
    Oh Oh Take my cash Take my cash.

    • KarateBob
    • 9 years ago

    *Yawn* Another Call of Duty game. This one made by Treyarch….the B Team.

    If you need me, I’ll be playing TF2

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      But your right here, posting about playing TF2. You aren’t playing TF2g{<.<}g

        • MickyT
        • 9 years ago

        Steam In-game web browser overlay?

        • KarateBob
        • 9 years ago

        I’m posting on my Netbook, waiting to respawn

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 9 years ago

    Another thing worth mentioning is that ratings the day a game comes out are all about emotion for normal people. My guess is that the reason the rating is so low on Metacritic user reviews is because a large number of people gave it the lowest rating possible. They don’t actually believe that the game is the worst game ever, they just dislike something about it and they want to bring the score down.

      • ImSpartacus
      • 9 years ago

      That’s typical with user ratings in general.

      If you want your vote to carry more positive or negative influence, you either give a 0/10 or 10/10, not an actual score.

      I assume that’s the reason Youtube did away with a 5 star rating system and now only has a like/dislike system. It’s better if you ask me.

    • mongoosesRawesome
    • 9 years ago

    It’s been out for two days. At this point, I’d be more inclined to believe the professional reviewers than gamers. Also, not going to get this until it drops in price.

      • TurtlePerson2
      • 9 years ago

      If the other CoD games are any indication, you’ll be waiting a while. Even CoD4 hasn’t come to what I consider the bargain bin yet.

        • mongoosesRawesome
        • 9 years ago

        yea, COD4 is pretty silly with that price that refused to budge for years after it was released. MW2 I picked up on ebay for about 25 bucks. with the steam activation and download, I was playing in just a few hours after I purchased.

          • swaaye
          • 9 years ago

          Consider that the Diablo 2 Battle Chest is still usually priced at $40. Some companies have more power over the market than others, thanks to consumers of course.

        • PetMiceRnice
        • 9 years ago

        Waiting a while is exactly what I did! I ended up picking up CoD4 and World at War for $20 each when they went on sale a few months ago. It sure took quite some time for them to reach that price, but I generally do not pay more than $30 for any game regardless of what it is. I do make a rare exception if it is something I am truly excited about, but that may only happen once every three years.

      • ReAp3r-G
      • 9 years ago

      MW2 is still $60. I highly doubt that there’s going to be a price drop anytime soon.

    • emvath
    • 9 years ago

    I was more excited for this game when I thought it was about black cops…I do that those scores seem a bit low though. All my friends that have played it say they really like it.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 9 years ago

    It’s cute that people will rate the games so low, but buy them by the truck load. This is what’s wrong with the video game industry. I know so many people that will tell me 9/10 games they bought for $50-60 suck, even going as far as to point out that it’s often particular publishers they have an issue with…and they just keep buying them.

    Protip: rentals are your friend.

      • KeillRandor
      • 9 years ago

      That’s not a problem with the industry, though – but with the market in general being too immature at this time, (though the industry is just as immature).

      Video/computer games, are, IM(H)O, currently in their ‘teenaged angst’ years. Although they’ve got some idea of where they are from, they are not quite sure of what they actually are or want to be just yet. Unfortunately, in order for the industry TO mature, the cost of making ‘standard’ quality games has to fall dramatically. This will take time, however – maybe decades. It’s kind of where the film industry was in the 20’s and 30’s, and although, thanks to the internet, the games industry has a short-cut that was unavailable to film or music, it’s still going to take a while to reach the same level of maturity, both for the industry AND the market.

      But what do I mean by ‘mature?’ The entertainment industry is one where parts of it can have extremely low barriers to entry. This is a sign of maturity – the parts which cost a lot of money/time/resources, have matured so that they can cope with the bare minimum necessary to exist. Parts of the entertainment industry, such as literature have the lowest possible barrier to entry – ANYONE who knows how to write, can do so. Thanks to the internet, the barrier of entry to publish and distribute such works has also fallen.

      Many other parts of the entertainment industry that are about producing and publishing information, are also maturing quickly, mainly due to the internet, such as music and film.

      Of course, parts of the industry really hate this, and are trying to fight it – but they cannot win – (and must not be allowed to, for humanity’s sake!).

      Computer games are following the same path forged by these other parts of the industry, but are still some way behind.

      Unfortunately, the market – representing the people who buy such a product, are also some way behind too – being prepared to put with immature products produced by an immature industry. Until this changes and matures, there is no reason for the industry to mature either.

      As I said though, it will probably take another decade or two for it happen.

      • Bensam123
      • 9 years ago

      Advertising works and sheeples are what most people are. We don’t call them sheeples for fun, literally they act like sheeples. If they’re told how awesome something is enough with enough explosions and ‘WOW’ elements to it they’ll genuinely believe it’s awesome.

      It’s the same reason American Idol and other reality TV shows are among the ones with the most viewers. Even if a lot of gamers know what is good and bad, consoles are becoming more and more cooler and PCs even easier to operate. That means sheeples can actually use them and put their buying power where their brain is.

      Even if they are sheeples though, if you show them something superior enough even they can tell when everything else is blown out of the water. Till we find a developer that can still dream and a publisher that is willing to take risks we will be stuck in this constant regurgitative state.

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 9 years ago

      Show me where I can rent PC games.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 9 years ago

    There’s apparently some serious bugs with the PC version that make the multiplayer almost unplayable for some people. That could be what’s causing the ire of PC gamers on Metacritic.

      • wingless
      • 9 years ago

      To me DirectX 9.0c is an f’ing bug!

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