If you include digital, Black Ops II has had the biggest year for a video game ever

Black Ops II’s digital revenue alone for the last 12 months would place it as the year’s third biggest game behind Grand Theft Auto V and Skylanders Giants.

That’s according to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, who also told investors that Black Ops II’s total 12-month revenue is the biggest ever seen for a single title in the history of gaming.

So despite the confession that Call of Duty: Ghosts has followed the trend set by its contemporaries by suffering year-on-year sales declines so far, Activision actually believes that the IP will eventually grow even bigger once the console transition is out of the way.

Historically, following console transitions, the top franchises have emerged stronger than when they entered the cycle,” Hirshberg said, as reported by Seeking Alpha. We believe that our two top five franchises, Call of Duty and Skylanders, are well positioned and will emerge stronger over the long term.

For both Call of Duty and for Skylanders, one of the keys to our success has been our ability to keep players engaged with new content all-year long. Year-to-date, Call of Duty digital revenues set new franchise records. The franchise also set a new record for online engagement with over 4bn hours played online. Put simply, players are spending more of their time and money online with Call of Duty than ever before.”

Hirshberg also elaborated on CFO Dennis Durkin’s earlier comments about the console transition.

Demand for many annualized triple-A titles are down as consumers continue to show hesitation ahead of the launch of next-gen consoles,” he added. In fact, some games based on top-selling franchises are significantly down versus last year.

While we don’t expect to be immune to these industry-wide patterns and while we expect the sales curve to be shaped differently this year given the mid-quarter launch of next-gen consoles and the fact that Black Friday is later this year, we also know that purchase intent and awareness for our key titles are strong.

We’re also seeing increased supply and demand for next-gen consoles, and we believe consumers will reward those who have breakthrough next-gen games ready at launch, and we do.”

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