Call of Duty spurs points card boom

Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops is still having a major impact at retail six months after its release.

And not just in terms of unit sales, either. The multiformat first person shooter was responsible for the biggest ever week of sales of Xbox Live points cards earlier this month.

When the Black Ops: Escalation DLC arrived on May 3rd, week-on-week sales of points cards leapt 131.6 per cent from 57,000 units to 132,000, according to GfK Chart-Track Retail Panel. The Black Ops branded 1,200 Xbox Live points card sold 79,000 units by itself – the biggest sales week for a single points card.

Similarly, after the Black Ops: First Strike DLC arrived on February 1st, sales rose from 50,000 to 128,000, an increase of 156 per cent.

The cards have been successful for more than two years. March 2009’s Modern Warfare 2 map pack resulted in a sales surge of 168.3 per cent, with 110,000 points cards sold following its release.

Format holder Microsoft has an exclusivity deal with Activision, which sees new Call of Duty game content arrive on Xbox 360 before rival platforms.

Traditionally, we see a spike in Xbox Live points cards and online transactions around the launch of any triple-A DLC,” Microsoft’s director of Xbox and entertainment Stephen McGill told MCV.

We’re thrilled to see such a huge appetite for this content from gamers.”

Mark Cox, Activision’s European marketing director for Call of Duty digital products, added: Escalation has been supported by very strong digital media and incredible in-store support from our retail partners.

Treyarch is committed to delivering exciting new content to fans as they continue enjoying the game.”

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