Call of Duty Black Ops II: the social factor

So how much does social media play in the unveiling of a new video game?

Apparently quite a big part. The media tracking firm Nielsen had an interesting idea – it decided to track the social reach of Activision’s Call of Duty franchise before and after the company announced its latest title, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

It found that in just the span of two days, the amount of tweets, Facebook messages, YouTube videos, blog postings, and message board postings related to Call of Duty increased four-fold.

Of course, in between those two days was the Black Ops 2 announcement. On April 30, the number of social messages about Call of Duty was 4,911. On May 2, that number was 21,454.

The official launch trailer video on YouTube has already been viewed more than 7.1 million times. Retailers also began accepting pre-orders for the title yesterday, and it has already scored its first record – Activision claims it is the fastest-selling pre-order game ever.

When its predecessor launched, Blacks Ops quickly added a bunch of sales records to its resume, including the biggest launch in the history of video games and various marks (e.g., first-week sales) that placed it as the fastest-selling game as well.

Interestingly enough, the previous record holders in these instances were earlier installments in the Call of Duty franchise. Activision continues to set new records and Black Ops 2 could very well be a new notch in that trend.

The game will launch in November, so there is still plenty of time for more buzz to come out of Black Ops II. If it does happen to set a new launch-day sales record, it would perhaps be partly because of the command of social media it has managed to attain.