Call of Duty is a first-person and third-person shooter video game franchise. The series began on the PC, and later expanded to consoles and handhelds. Several spin-off games have also been released. The earlier games in the series are set primarily in World War II, including Call of Duty, Call of Duty 2, and Call of Duty 3. Beginning with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which is set in modern times, the series has shifted focus away from World War II. Modern Warfare (released November 2007) was followed by Call of Duty: World at War and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Black Ops (released November 2010) takes place in the Cold War, while Modern Warfare 3 (released November 2011) takes place in a near-future setting. Black Ops II (released November 2012) takes place in the year 2025. Call of Duty: Ghosts was released in November 2013. In May 2014, Advanced Warfare was announced.
The Call of Duty games are published and owned by Activision. While the studio Infinity Ward primarily still develops them, Treyarch has also developed several of the titles with the release of the studios’ games interlaced with each other. Some games have been developed by Gray Matter Interactive, Nokia, Exakt Entertainment, Spark Unlimited, Amaze Entertainment, n-Space, Aspyr, Rebellion Developments, Ideaworks Game Studio, Sledgehammer Games, and nStigate Games. The games use a variety of engines, including the id Tech 3, the Treyarch NGL, and the IW 5.0.
As of November 11, 2011, the Call of Duty series has sold over 100 million copies. As of March 31, 2012 there are 40 million monthly active players across all of the Call of Duty titles, with 10 million users of the online service Call of Duty: Elite and 2 million paying annual members. Over 1.6 billion hours of online gameplay have been logged on Modern Warfare 3 since its 2011 release.
Other products in the franchise include a line of action figures designed by Plan-B Toys, a card game created by Upper Deck, Mega bloks sets by Mega Brands, and a comic book mini-series published by WildStorm.