Call of duty

Call of Duty Black Ops dominates best selling games of the decade list

by Scott Robertson
Treyarch

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The Black Ops series developed by Treyarch was a resounding success for the Call of Duty franchise in the 2010s, with each installment appearing in The NPD Group's list of the top ten best games of the decade.

Hail to the true king of Call of Duty, the Black Ops saga. The Treyarch-developed series lasted almost the entire length of the decade after debuting in 2010, with four total installments releasing over the next ten years. 

The series left an imprint on the state of Call of Duty and first-person shooters in general, and the proof of that is in its undeniable dominance of the all-decade best selling games list, which also showcased the entire franchise’s impact on the 2010's.

Call of Duty Black Ops
Activision
Black Ops became an adored series by Call of Duty fans.

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Black Ops 1, 2, and 3 dominated the top five of the “Top Selling Games of the Decade in the US list” provided by The NPD Group, a market research company, and shared by games outlet IGN on Twitter. The first, second, and third Black Ops games came in 2nd, 4th, and 5th, respectively.

All four games of the Black Ops series made the top ten list, as well as three other Call of Duty titles from the past ten years, in Modern Warfare III (#4), Ghosts (#6), and WWII (#8).

That means that of the ten main Call of Duty games that released this decade (excluding Mobile and the MW remaster), seven of them finished in the top ten of the 2010's.

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Best selling games of the decade

  1. Grand Theft Auto V
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops
  3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3
  6. Call of Duty: Ghosts
  7. Red Dead Redemption 2
  8. Call of Duty: WWII
  9. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  10. Minecraft

That leaves Advanced Warfare, Infinite Warfare, and the newest Modern Warfare outside the top ten, but Modern Warfare did have the best current-generation launch, with over $600 million in sales during opening weekend.

Treyarch’s lead developer, David Vonderhaar, wasted little time in flexing on Call of Duty’s decade of dominance, pointing out that only three titles on the list aren’t from the iconic shooter series in Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Minecraft.

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For Treyarch, this gives the developer bragging rights when it comes to deciding who the best Call of Duty developer is, as they went 4/4 on games they primarily developed making the top ten in sales list. This momentum should carry them into 2020, but rumors suggest that development of the next Black Ops is already in danger.

Despite its strong sales numbers, fans were somewhat disappointed with the end result of Black Ops 4, and don’t want to see the fifth installment rushed out after just one year of Modern Warfare.