All the big chains stayed open late, with GameStop locations offering free pizza and energy drinks (gives you an idea of who was standing in line). "Black Ops," the latest version of the company's "Call of Duty" series, has been getting extra attention because it was developed by the Santa Monica-based Treyarch studio - and not Infinity Ward, whose two studio heads were fired by Activision last March. Treyarch had been considered a kind of B team for Activision until the Infinity Ward blowup. From the LAT:
If Black Ops is able to match or exceed the estimated 20 million copies sold by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which was developed by Infinity Ward and released last November, it could prove to gamers and investors that the franchise has a future. If it falls short, it could demonstrate that gamers are souring on Call of Duty and one of Activision's pillars is in danger of crumbling. "It takes a few iterations to build a blockbuster franchise," said Evan Wilson, an analyst with Pacific Crest Securities. "But it only takes one bad game to kill a franchise."
So far, so good -- Amazon says that "Black Ops'" pre-orders have broken all records. For the uninitiated, check out the above trailer.