Microsoft’s Xbox Live online gaming service launched its latest exclusive today, the Escalation map pack expansion for multiplayer gaming in Call of Duty Black Ops.
Activision Blizzard’s latest map pack is the second release of downloadable game content for Black Ops. And as past map sales have proven, this launch will likely generate as much revenue as a new blockbuster game launch on the consoles.
Given the timing, Microsoft’s Xbox Live is going to be a big beneficiary of the map pack release. Meanwhile,Sony is suffering two major outages from the hack attack on the PlayStation Network as well their PC online gaming services.
Activision Blizzard has said users have played the Black Ops game online for more than 2 billion hours since its launch in November. You can expect more Call of Duty fans to log into the Xbox Live service starting today, since they won’t be able to play on the PSN or on Sony Online Entertainment’s PC online games, which were shut down pending an intrusion investigation.
The new map pack will have five maps, entitled Zoo, Hotel, Convoy, Stockpile, and the zombie map Survive all at the price of 1200 Microsoft Points ($15).
Activision Blizzard said some time ago that it had sold more than 20 million Call of Duty map packs, generating more than $300 million in sales. So it’s clear that map packs are a big business, and video game publishers may want to avoid publishing rival games on May 3, since gamers will be a little busy.
On the weekend of May 6, Black Ops players can earn double the amount of experience points in each match they play. Check out the funny trailer below, which cleverly says “there’s a soldier in all of us.”