When we compare game franchise, such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, one of the key questions people want to know is which game has sold more units?
It's a clash of two titans, up there with Mario and Sonic, or FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer, but with more blood. Call of Duty and Battlefield are two enormously popular war-based games, with fiercely loyal supporters.
We don't intend to get into the pros and cons of each series here; instead, we'll be looking at plain old sales figures, to see how they are both doing, as we near the release of Battlefield 2042 and Call of Duty 2021.
Call of Duty vs Battlefield: Which sold more?
Overall, Call of Duty has outsold the Battlefield franchise by over 310 million copies. However, given Call of Duty is Activision's annual release, whereas EA/DICE releases a Battlefield game every two or three years, this isn't surprising.
However, it isn't just because of the sheer number of Call of Duty games released that explains this difference. The Call of Duty titles also outperform Battlefield games in the sales charts.
In 2016, Activision released Call of Duty: Infinity Warfare, and EA launched Battlefield 1. Infinity Warfare received heavy criticism from hardcore and casual Call of Duty fans for its futuristic twists, while Battlefield 1 was applauded by game critics and reviews alike. Despite this, Infinity Warfarestill outsoldBattlefield 1.
Let's take a deeper look into each franchises' sales.
Call of Duty sales
First released way back in 2003, Call of Duty is a giant in the gaming world. With series' based on World War II, Black Ops, and Modern Warfare, they have been a prolific producer of games across the last two decades.
Activision has managed to produce over 30 separate titles in that period, for a range of platforms, and a variety of content. The fact that it uses a range of developers enables them to work on numerous titles at the same time. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War was the most recent iteration, released in 2020.
And the sheer number of games it has produced goes a long way to explaining the volume of sales they have made over the last eighteen years. As of April 2021, Call of Duty had sold an astounding 400 million games, easily making it one of the most popular, successful and lucrative game franchises of all time. It has proved a golden goose for Activision, racking up over $27 billion in sales.
Indeed, as a result of these huge sales numbers, it was recently found that every single one of Activision's studios are now working on the Call of Duty series in some form.
So faced with such a formidable opponent, how does Battlefield stack up?
Believe it or not, Battlefield is actually the older of the two franchises, making its debut on PC back in 2002. They have been far less prolific in terms of the number of games they have released, with 11 games, plus expansion packs, released in that time. Their most recent offering was Battlefield V, released back in 2018, with a new Battlefield game expected later this year.
Sales wise, given it has released about a third as many games as Call of Duty, it isn't a surprise that sales haven't kept up, with an estimated 88.7 million sales. This still makes Battlefield an incredibly popular franchise, but it is very much the smaller party in this conversation.
Of course, quality and quantity are not always the same, and there are many players out there who would argue that Battlefield generates a higher quality, more realistic experience, in comparison to the more arcade feel of Call of Duty games.
Beauty, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. It's just great that we have two high quality game franchises to choose from.
Call of Duty vs Battlefield sales: The (near) future
With Battlefield 2042 set to launch in 2021, alongside the expected Call of Duty title, this year will be another chance for these two FPS titans to go head to head.
However, due to the success of Call of Duty: Warzone, this comparison of sheer sales numbers could be slightly outdated given Warzone's F2P nature. As EA DICE stated it has no plans to add a battle royale mode to Battlefield 2042 at this time, there will be no way no compare the franchises here.
We'll update this page when sales numbers for these games are released in the post-launch period