Activision has announced that Call of Duty: WWII and Destiny 2 are North America's best-selling console games of 2017. The games were two of the publisher's flagship titles for the year, and have performed exceptionally well, with WWII bringing in more than $1 billion worldwide since its release in early November.
The Call of Duty series has long been a powerhouse in the industry, but last year's Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was considered a relative commercial failure. With WWII, though, Activision has bounced back in a major way.
According to Activision, WWII — which broke the company's record for biggest console digital launch — was the year's bestselling console game in North America, extending Call of Duty's historical dominance. "Call of Duty has been the #1 top grossing console gaming franchise in North America for a staggering nine years in a row," the press release said, noting that the metric is based on revenue. Activision also shared good news about Destiny 2, which came in at number two, saying that the game has outsold the original Destiny. The press release rounded out with a nod to the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which has become the "top selling remastered collection in PS4 history."
Established series have dominated video game sales in 2017 — other top performers include NBA 2K18, Madden NFL 18, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. WWII and Destiny 2 have received some positive critical attention alongside their commercial success, with WWII earning a nomination for best multiplayer at the 2017 Game Awards, and Destiny 2 racking up six nominations, tying it with Horizon Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey for most nominations. (Destiny 2 did not ultimately win any Game Awards.)
Call of Duty's billion-dollar sales figures come as little surprise. The series reliably performs remarkably well. Destiny 2 was a slightly riskier project — a follow-up to a new, expensive, and divisive intellectual property — and Activision has reason to be happy with its results thus far. The game, however, has experienced a fair share of controversy — Bungie's handling of in-game progression and downloadable content has left many Destiny 2 players upset (and the developer apologizing). Activision has similarly come under scrutiny for the loot box mechanics of Overwatch, a game developed by Blizzard, one of its subsidiaries. But luckily for Activision, the brunt of player backlash has been directed toward EA, its primary publishing rival, due to Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot boxes. And so, with a strong year soon to be behind it, Activision has plenty of momentum heading into 2018.