Is Call of Duty Player Count Still High in 2023?

Updated · Mar 06, 2023

Call of Duty is hands down one of the most popular video game franchises ever. Captivating gameplay, interesting storylines, and memorable characters are the ingredients behind CoD’s popularity and the overall quality of games.

Do you want to learn more about it? Today we’ll focus on how many people play CoD and related fascinating stats. Each video game has its own fan base, thus learning more about its players will help us understand why it got popular in the first place.

Call of Duty has been around since the Golden Age of Gaming.

Naturally, the franchise has changed a bit as well as its target audience. Join us as we take a deeper look into the game’s history, statistics, and factors that affect its player count and demographics.

We’ll start with:

Essential Call of Duty Player Count Stats (Editor’s Choice)

  • The first CoD game was released way back in 2003. 
  • The first Call of Duty sold around 4.5 million copies.
  • Modern Warfare 3 sold around 31 million copies.
  • 250 million people have enjoyed CoD games in the last couple of years. 
  • 100 million people played Call of Duty Warzone in May 2021. 
  • CoD Modern Warfare sold around 3 million Xbox copies shortly following its release.
  • CoD games will most likely change after Microsoft bought Activision for $70 billion in 2022..

CoD Info 

1. Call of Duty attained cult status shortly after the first game in the CoD series was released back in 2003.

(Source: Metacritic)

The original Call of Duty was praised by gamers and critics alike and went on to receive numerous Game of The Year awards in 2003. 

It’s really easy to pinpoint the moment when CoD got popular. It’s much harder, though, to answer why CoD got popular. We can try by looking at the cultural landscape back then. 

The first-person shooter genre was most certainly fostered by the Half-Life, originally released in 1998. Battlefield, a more direct competitor of CoD, was certainly popular in 2002, when Battlefield 1942 was released.

Beyond this, movies must have also influenced developers and general audiences, taking for example Saving Private Ryan, an Oscar-winning war movie, released in 1998. 

The first development team probably realized what the market at the time needed—a high-quality first-person shooter set during the Second World War. That’s exactly what they provided—a game that immersed the player in the War atmosphere unlike any before. 

2. The original CoD sold around 4.5 million copies with Modern Warfare 3 marking  31 million sales.

(Source: Statista)

CoD popularity started with the cult CoD 1. From then on, games continued to evolve and audiences only got bigger. 

Modern gamers seem to miss a lot by skipping great titles like the original Call of Duty. It looks like realistic graphics and shallow stories have become much more important prerequisites in today’s industry.

But hardcore CoD fans like us know how to revere the very first adventures of legendary Captain Price and co.

How many people play CoD and exactly how popular are CoD games? The franchise seems to have reached its peak in 2010, when Call of Duty Black Ops got out and sold a shy of 31 million copies. Here’s a list of other popular CoD titles:

  • Modern Warfare 3 (2011)—30.9 million
  • Black Ops II (2012)—30 million
  • Ghosts (2013)—28.8 million
  • Black Ops III (2014)—26.7 million
  • Modern Warfare 2 (2009)—25 million
  • Advanced Warfare (2014)—22 million
  • Modern Warfare (2007)—20 million
  • WWII (2017)—20 million
  • World at War (2008)—17.6 million

As we can see, up until 2011 and MW3, sales were going up. They started to decrease with WWII selling 10 million copies less than MW3 or Black Ops.

An exception is World at War, which was a bit of a flop compared to its legendary predecessor—Modern Warfare. Perhaps there was already a saturation with World War II themed games on the market, which is why WWII was also relatively unsuccessful. 

Even though Black Ops sold more copies, its overall reception was “generally positive”, while Modern Warfare received “universal acclaim”.

Moreover, Modern Warfare influenced the Battlefield franchise, which went on to become a legendary first-person shooter, especially in the realm of multiplayer. 

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3. 250 million people played at least one CoD video game in 2020.

(Source: Statista)

This stat measured the CoD reach and it simply means that 250 million people decided to play a CoD game more often than in 2020. 

Compared to 2018 when Call of Duty had a maximum of 70 million active players, these numbers point to a sort of rejuvenation for the CoD series. So what happened between 2018 and 2020? 

First and foremost, CoD Mobile was launched in 2019. With mobile video games becoming more and more important, it’s quite clear what affected this big difference. 148 million people downloaded the game in the 24 months following its release. 

Second, the COVID-19 pandemic cannot go unmentioned. With hundreds of millions of people having to quarantine, a logical consequence would be the uptake in game-time, so CoD is not an isolated case. 

4. Around 100 million people played Call of Duty Warzone in May 2021.

(Source: Statista)

Call of Duty Warzone player count, along with CoD Mobile players, is what keeps the whole franchise alive. Due to the CoD nature, it’s somewhat challenging to maintain a loyal fan base over longer periods of time. 

This becomes evident when we compare CoD with, say, WoW. CoD will sooner or later become rather boring and repetitive. WoW, on the other hand, keeps people glued to the screen and will probably continue doing so in the years to come. 

How many people play Warzone daily? According to PlayerCount, at least a few hundred thousands. It’s safe to say that Warzone is the most played Call of Duty game right now, probably because it’s a fresh battle royale game—a genre that has experienced quite a boom in the last few years.

5. Modern Warfare reboot has approximately 85,000 online players at any given moment.

(Source: ActivePlayer)

Modern Warfare reboot player count stats also show us that 6-10 million people play the game on a monthly basis.

Although tens of thousands of people play MW at any given moment, the peak number of daily players is around 850,000. 

Of course, these numbers follow general game trends. For instance, people spend more time at home during the cold months, which leads to the increase of various player stats.

6. People still play the original Modern Warfare from 2007. 

(Source: SteamCharts)

How many people play old Call of Duty Modern Warfare?

Stats like Call of Duty live player count aren’t as impressive here, but there still are people who enjoy the original game. According to Steam Charts, around 400 players play Call of Duty 4 during the winter.

7. Black Ops Cold War sold 5.7 million copies in one month.

(Source: VGchartz)

How many people play the Cold War? It’s somewhat harder to find Black Ops Cold War player count stats.

Since it’s a new game, we can conclude that its stats are at least remotely close to those of MW reboot, though probably not as high. The game has been labeled as a “bloated mess” by Forbes and generally didn’t live up to CoD’s standards. 

Moreover, it seems that the wider audience’s focus is more on Warzone and CoD Mobile. It’s also worth pointing out that most player count stats revolve around multiplayer counts—it’s much harder to track single player counts, and we all know that some of CoD’s strongest points is a captivating storyline and movie-like dynamics.

8. About 500 people play Modern Warfare 2 on a daily basis.

(Source: SteamCharts)

Modern Warfare 2 player count stats show us that not that many people are still playing this legendary game.

Just a few years ago, thousands of players were online at any given moment. It was probably one of the last original CoD games. Since the Warzone and other newer releases, though, fewer and fewer people are playing the classics.

9. CoD Modern Warfare (2007) sold three million Xbox copies in the first months following its release.

(Source: VGsales)

Additionally, CoD WWII has sold around six million Xbox copies by August 2020. These and other similar stats are as close as we can get you to an Xbox CoD player count.

The PlayStation player count information is also scarce. We only have bits and pieces—we know that around 140,000 Modern Warfare copies were sold by January 2008.

However, CoD is much more of an Xbox game, which is why the developers’ focus is on adapting CoD games for the Xbox platform. Further proof are Microsoft’s plans to acquire Activision.

10. Most people play CoD games on PCs.

(Source: TheWrap)

Even though it’s very challenging to give an exact number of the CoD player count on PC, we can safely say that out of the 110 million CoD players in the Q3 of 2020, most of them were playing on PCs. 

Probably because the first few releases were almost solely played on PC and also that it’s arguably easier to play first-person shooters on keyboard and mouse. Ask professional - or even one of the millions filthy casual - CS:GO players. 

CoD News

Call of Duty is likely to recieve further funding from its new owners.

11. Microsoft wants to acquire Activision for around $70 billion.

(Source: BusinessInsider)

Microsoft plans to launch an Xbox Pass—a Netflix-like subscription service for video games. It’ll offer a plethora of games but in order to make it work, Microsoft will have to bring in the big guns, such as the ones from Activision. 

If we see a decrease in Call of Duty player count in 2022, it’ll probably have to do with these future plans. We know this subscription service works quite well for movies and TV shows, we’ve yet to see if this’ll also be true for video games. 

12. The original Modern Warfare (2007) is arguably the best Call of Duty game.

(Source: DigitalTrends; Dexerto)

MW regularly tops the lists of best Call of Duty games, in spite of the new CoD games’ glitter. 

As we’ve already mentioned, this is the game that changed the FPS genre. 

Moreover, it has basically set the path for the further CoD releases, which was up until 2007 synonymous with WWII. 

It was a bit surprising to see that Call of Duty 1 and 2 are missing from the top 10 of best CoD games.

We might be clouded by nostalgia but we truly think that Call of Duty 1 and 2 are high-quality and have something to offer even today. CoD 2 is especially interesting as it has many mods available making it look much more like a modern game than else.

Wrap Up

The Call of Duty franchise was the herald of the Golden Age of Gaming, going from the 90s up to early 2010s. It has since turned into a much-expected blockbuster, simply having to release a new title a year. This has made it a bit generic, lacking real innovation with too much reliance on the modern video game trends. 

It still possesses its special and distinctive qualities, though, as there are more than 100 million CoD players around the world at the moment. 

How many players does Call of Duty have in 2022?
Depends on how you look at it. According to Activision, around 100 million people play CoD games.  This doesn’t mean they are all active at the same time but gives us a general impression of how large their fan base is. In these 100 million people we are including hardcore gamers, people who play occasionally, and those who play once or twice per month. An even more liberal estimation puts the Call of Duty player count up to 250 million, which includes all those who play CoD Mobile. 
How many active Call of Duty players are there?
It’s safe to say that the Call of Duty active players on a daily basis are among the hundreds of thousands. It’s dependent on many factors, in-game and environment.  How many people play CoD games is influenced, for instance, by the time of a game’s release. In the period closely following a release, the number of players is naturally the highest. Additionally, in general more people play video games during the winter. 
Nick Galov
Nick Galov

Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.