Warzone vs Black Ops Cold War: Which Was the Biggest Call of Duty Title of 2020?

Published 12/23/2020, 12:32 PM EST


2019 saw the release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare and Call of Duty Mobile. Both the games were very different in nature, and both made their own mark in the various platforms they were released.

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Fans of the franchise loved both the games post release. Activision hit a sales record with Modern Warfare as it became the highest selling game in the franchise. It earned over $600 million within its first three days of release. By the end of 2019, Modern Warfare had earned over $1 billion in revenue.

Call of Duty Mobile too was making its own unique mark. Furthermore, it was Activision’s first venture into mobile gaming. Within a month of release, the game had 148 million downloads and generated nearly US$54 million in revenue. Almost a year later, the game has amassed over 250 million downloads and generated more than $327 million.

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After a successful year, Activision turned its sights towards 2020. They released Call of Duty Warzone as early as March 2020. After the massive failure with Blackout in Black Ops 4, Activision was counting on Warzone to become the first successful Battle Royale for the franchise.

Infinity Ward integrated the game inside of Modern Warfare and made it free-to-play. Almost immediately, Verdansk became the go to place in town for all Battle Royale lovers. Mid 2020, the popularity boom for Warzone struck the optimum peak with reports of 75 million active players.

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Around this time, Fortnite streamers started changing their daily jam and shifted to Warzone. Verdansk felt fresh, realistic and very competitive (thanks to SBMM). However, the game was more often than not, filled with bugs and glitches.

Warzone was an integral part of the Call of Duty League that took place this year. Streamers across the U.S.A. were taking part in competitive match-ups, with hundreds of dollars on the line. Warzone also collaborated with different franchises and added content to the game.

Halloween saw The Haunting of Verdansk event, where two very famous movie franchises promoted their upcoming spooky ventures. Their own events, especially the one where all the players had to run towards the stadium to watch a new CoD game reveal teaser, were hugely celebrated.

Recently, the nuke event on Warzone teased a new operator from the MW series that people loved but did not see in the first six seasons.

But Warzone was not the only high for the CoD franchise this year. End of the year saw the release of the much hyped Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War. The new Black Ops title was talked about everywhere, and the expectations were huge.

Coincidentally, this game was going to collide with the release of the new-gen consoles. Therefore, CoD fans were excited to experience next-gen CoD on the best consoles available on the planet.

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The Black Ops Cold War boom of 2020

After its release on November 13, there was nothing else any gaming portal or event was talking about. BOCW impressed people with its game mechanics and weapon control. The multiplayer modes and the maps impressed all. However, SBMM was still a problem for the players.

The return of Zombies in CoD was highly well received. The only disappointment was BOCW did not release a new Zombies map with the Season 1 DLC. Cold War sold over 5.7  million digital units in the month of November alone.

The physical sales however suffered because of numerous reasons. Even in the UK, physical sales of BOCW was less than that of Modern Warfare’s opening sales. But there is no doubt that the game made Activision good money, even with the pandemic situation considered.

The question remains, however, which CoD game stole the show in 2020? Was it the free-to-play Warzone or the $70 Black Ops Cold War?

The answer to this question is a bit tricky considering the merger between the two games was recently completed. Players can use BOCW items inside of Verdansk and with time, we will see more and more of BOCW in Warzone.

Another fact to consider while making such a judgement is that both the games are of different genres. BOCW adheres to multiplayer and campaign, while Warzone is a Battle Royale.

But to objectively answer the question: Which was the most popular Call of Duty game in 2020 between these two, then it would definitely be Warzone. The free-to-play factor also played a major role in the game’s popularity.

This claim is further supported by Activision, as it released a statement saying Modern Warfare was the most played Call of Duty game of the decade. All thanks to Warzone.

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All things considered, the merger between both the games currently is at its initial stage and we believe it will propel the franchise to a bigger success.

Let us know in the comments which game you think was the best CoD game of the year.

 

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Avhinandan Chakraborty

591 articles

Avhinandan Chakraborty is an eSports author at EssentiallySports since August 2020. He is currently pursuing his Master's degree in English Literature from Calcutta University, and has been professionally writing since 2020. Ever since he was a child, he has been extremely passionate about online gaming and eSports, having played titles like GTA Vice City, FIFA, and IGI, among many others.

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