How much is CoD worth?

Call of Duty is one of the most legendary franchises in gaming history. Based on its total lifetime revenue and sales which now exceed $30 billion, as well as future revenue potential, the Call of Duty IP is estimated to be worth between $15 billion and $30 billion currently. That staggering figure cements its status as one of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world.

The Reigning King of First-Person Shooters

Since bursting onto the scene in 2003, the Call of Duty series has established itself as the premier first-person shooter (FPS) franchise. Some key highlights:

  • Over 400 million units sold to date, with several titles crossing the $1 billion revenue mark.
  • The last 3 major entries – Modern Warfare (2019), Black Ops Cold War (2020) and Vanguard (2021) – together grossed more than $6 billion as per Activision‘s financial reports.
  • Recurring revenues from downloadable content, microtransactions and in-game purchases contribute heavily too.
  • The free-to-play phenomenon Call of Duty: Warzone has over 125 million registered players.
  • CoD has been the best-selling console game in the U.S. for 10 of the last 11 years as per NPD data.

In the console and PC gaming space, nothing comes close to matching Call of Duty‘s continued domination throughout the last decade. It has maintained an iron grip on the first-person shooter throne against all challengers.

Follow the Money

Let‘s look at the numbers more closely to understand how the dollars stack up.

Recent Major Titles

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) $1.9 billion
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War (2020) $1.4 billion
Call of Duty: Vanguard (2021) $1 billion

These blockbuster premium releases form the core of Call of Duty‘s revenue generation. But the ecosystem is far more expansive.

Recurring Revenue Sources

  • Microtransactions and in-game purchases – skins, weapons, battle passes
  • Free-to-play Warzone and the popular CoD: Mobile game
  • Downloadable content (DLC) – map packs, expansions
  • Licensing and merchandise

Warzone alone is free to play and has generated over $2 billion since launch. Combine all these ever-flowing revenue streams, and CoD becomes a perpetual money-printing machine.

How Does CoD Stack Up Against Other Franchises?

Here‘s how Call of Duty compares to some other major gaming IPs in terms of lifetime revenue:

Tetris $2.7 billion
Warcraft $9.23 billion
Call of Duty $30 billion
FIFA $31 billion
Grand Theft Auto $37.5 billion

In player count and engagement metrics, CoD also consistently numbers among the global top 5 every year along with Fortnite, PUBG, Roblox and Minecraft.

The rampant success of Warzone has also thrust Call of Duty to the top of the live service game genre.

The Blockbuster Microsoft Acquisition

In January 2022, Microsoft announced a mega $68.7 billion deal to acquire CoD publisher Activision Blizzard. This grants the Xbox maker full control over one of gaming‘s crown jewel franchises.

Microsoft‘s aggressive move was spurred by the desire to own durable, multi-billion dollar IPs like Call of Duty to anchor its content portfolio. Industry analysts widely believe CoD alone could be valued at over $10 billion for Microsoft.

Putting the franchise‘s development and publishing under Xbox could lead to bold new directions while retaining the core of what makes CoD great. It remains one of the most lucrative pieces of IP in all of entertainment.

What Does the Future Hold for Call of Duty?

Given its rock-solid foundation and multi-generational appeal, Call of Duty still seems to be in the early stages of its lifespan despite nearly crossing 20 years.

Annual premium title releases will continue to drive momentum and revenue. Warzone‘s evolution as a live service experience has unlocked new potential for growth and monetization. The competitive esports ecosystem around CoD will only expand further.

Of course, the franchise cannot rest on its laurels in the rapidly evolving gaming landscape. Fresh innovation and maintaining quality will be key to retaining its kingpin status in the shooter genre. But with over a decade of domination under its belt already, betting against Call of Duty seems foolish.

All said, a prudent estimate pegs the worth of the Call of Duty IP between $15 billion and $30 billion presently. And as its reign continues, you can expect the king‘s ransom to keep growing for Activision and now Microsoft.

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