Call of Duty Vanguard sales were down 36% in the UK during 2021
Vanguard fell far short of its predecessor Black Ops Cold War, data shows
Activision’s latest Call of Duty title, Vanguard, reported 36% fewer sales than its predecessor Black Ops Cold War in the UK last year.
That’s according to new software sales data from GSD – reported by GamesIndustry.biz – which follows an earlier VGC report that Vanguard’s UK launch was the lowest of any series entry in the modern era.
Although the decline will likely be disappointing to publisher Activision, Vanguard was still the second best-selling game in the UK last year, according to GSD, behind EA’s FIFA 22.
Earlier physical and digital sales data from GSD showed that Vanguard’s opening week was down 40% year-on-year, compared to its predecessor.
Subsequent data shared by VGC’s own sources suggested that Vanguard was actually Call of Duty’s lowest-performing launch in 14 years.
Only the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – the game that kicked off the modern era of CoD in 2007 – sold fewer copies during its opening week, sales data seen by VGC suggested.
Call of Duty's biggest UK launches
- Black Ops (2010)
- Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
- Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
- Black Ops 2 (2012)
- Advanced Warfare (2014)
- WWII (2017)
- Black Ops 3 (2015)
- Ghosts (2013)
- Modern Warfare (2019)
- Black Ops Cold War (2020)
In the US, NPD data showed that Vanguard was also the second best-selling game of the year as of its November release month, but it did not manage to outsell its predecessor Black Ops Cold War as of that period.
Earlier this month, journalist Tom Henderson suggested that this year’s Call of Duty release, which is understood to be Modern Warfare 2, could release slightly earlier as a result of Vanguard’s disappointing reception.
A factor that may have contributed to Vanguard’s performance decline is the fact that it arrived during a console hardware transition, with high competition from Halo Infinite and Battlefield.
Call of Duty also has a hugely popular free-to-play title in Warzone, which didn’t exist before last year.
The franchise has also seen success with another free-to-play title on mobile, which launched in 2019 and has been downloaded 500 million times as of May this year, according to Activision.
Across Mobile, Warzone and its premium games, Activision looks set to produce more Call of Duty content than ever, however, with the company recently having confirmed that all of its core studios are now working on the Call of Duty franchise.