Call of Duty | confidential data revealed in second admin blunder

call of duty data

Call of Duty’s PlayStation revenues and other confidential data has emerged thanks to another bout of poor redaction with a black pen.


Once again, we’re squinting at numbers only partly blocked out by black marker pen.

Not long after some poorly-redacted documents uploaded to the web revealed the budgets of The Last of Us Part II and Horizon Forbidden West, another document uncovers once confidential data related to Call of Duty.

Again, the document is a piece of evidence submitted during the ongoing FTC-Microsoft court case, in which the future of Microsoft’s proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition will likely be determined. This latest chunk of written information is about how much Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty franchise is worth to PlayStation, although some of the more sensitive data was intended to be redacted to avoid it going public.

Instead, the translucent properties of marker ink means we can see some of that data – although some of the numbers are a little tricky to make out. As reported by The Verge, one paragraph appears to read:

In 2021, over [14?] million users (by device) spent 30 percent or more of their time playing Call of Duty, over 6 million users spent more than 70% of their time on Call of Duty, and about 1 million users spent 100% of their gaming time on Call of Duty.

In 2021, Call of Duty players spent an average of [116?] hours per year playing Call of Duty. Call of Duty players spending more than 70 percent of their time on Call of Duty spent an average of 296 hours on the franchise.

Elsewhere, the document says that, in 2021 alone, US Call of Duty revenues for PlayStation amounted to $800 million and possibly as much as $1.5 billion globally (the numbers are a little fuzzy here). All told, Call of Duty could be worth somewhere north of $13.9 billion per year to Sony once subscriptions and other profit streams are factored in. Little wonder, then, that the thought of Call of Duty becoming an Xbox exclusive would be a troubling one for Sony.

Speaking of which, another poorly-redacted passage reveals that this year’s Call of Duty is Sony’s last one under its current deal with Activision. “The last game covered by the contract is a Call of Duty title to be released in late 2023.”

The question of exclusivity has been a big topic in the FTC-Microsoft trial; while Call of Duty is evidently valuable to Sony, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said he has “no love” for console exclusives, while Activision CEO Bobby Kotick describes them as “detrimental” to his business.

The court case concludes today – 29 June. Microsoft then has until 18 July to close its acquisition deal.

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