Call of Duty has delivered 17M map packs, but continued success 'only' through retail, Kotick says

Speaking during an investor call today, Activision CEO Bobby Kotick reflected on the publisher's multi-pronged strategy behind the immense success of the Call of Duty franchise. A key -- but still growing -- element has been digital content distribution in the form of downloadable map packs.

"Life-to-date on the Call of Duty franchise, we have digitally delivered almost 17 million map packs, which doesn't include the PS3 Modern Warfare 2 downloadable content that just launched," Kotick said. "To date, our audiences have played a staggering 1.75 billion hours of online multiplayer Call of Duty games."

Despite this notable impact, Kotick made it clear that Activision would still lean more heavily on event-driven retail releases. "While our direct-to-consumer digital business is growing, our continued success will come only through the tremendous support of our fantastic retail partners."

Having created the "the largest video game retail launch in history" with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Activision isn't hasty to alter the winning plan. "We have every intention of doing this again this year with Call of Duty: Black Ops," Kotick declared.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.