The global popularity of Call of Duty, in one chart
January 31st, 2022, Graeme Bruce

The global popularity of Call of Duty, in one chart

If there is any question as to why Microsoft is set to pay an eye-watering US$68.7 billion for Activision Blizzard, global YouGov data shows just how popular its flagship franchise, Call of Duty, is around the world.

YouGov’s Global Fan Profiles collects data on the fan-bases of esports franchises, among other data points. Esports watchers in South Africa (33%), Australia (32%), and Canada (30%) are most likely to follow Call of Duty, but the titles has significant following around the world.


The widespread popularity of Call of Duty is a result of Activision Blizzard’s years-long effort to become an esports giant, launching city-based franchise structures like traditional sports.

In January, Microsoft announced its intention to buy Activision as part of its plan to bolster its offerings on Xbox Game Pass, a Netflix-like subscription platform for video gaming. Microsoft said it intends to include as many Activision titles as possible to its library, further increasing its substantial lead over subscription services from PlayStation and Nintendo.

In the days following the announcement, neither side of the forthcoming deal has said exactly how the acquisition will affect Activision’s esports leagues.

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Methodology: The data in chart is based on the interviews of adults aged 18 and over in 10 of the 26 markets in which YouGov collects data regarding esports and sports. Sample sizes vary between 177 and 1,094 for each market. All interviews were conducted online in December 2021. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from India, which use urban representative samples.