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Players love, hate Call of Duty: Black Ops

November 11, 2010 |  9:03 am

Call of Duty: Black Ops sales may be off the charts, but the reviews for the game released Tuesday show a different picture.

Reviews from 42 professional game critics gave the Activision Blizzard title with an average Metacritic score of 90 out of 100, which the website calls "universal acclaim."

But average players gave the game, developed by Treyarch, a 6.7 average out of 10, or roughly speaking an "F." Did players really find it that dreadful? 

A closer look at the user reviews revealed a more complicated scenario. Nearly two thirds of the reviews, 88 out of 137, were positive as of Noon Wednesday. Of those, the vast majority rated the game either 9 or 10. Among the rest, 43 said they hated the game, with most giving it a score of 0 or 1. Only six users, or 4%, gave Black Ops middle-of-the-road scores of 5 or 6.

Black Ops Metacritic User Reviews

It seems gamers either loved or hated Black Ops, with few in between. Statisticians call this a bi-modal distribution, with data points clustered on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Love it or loathe it, millions of people bought the game -- 2.8 million Americans reserved a copy, along with 1.7 million Europeans, giving Black Ops a record total 4.5 million pre-orders.

The entire Call of Duty franchise rang up an estimated $3.5 billion in retail sales worldwide, according to Wedbush Securities.

"With Black Ops, it's going to sail past $4 billion with its eyes closed by the end of November," said Michael Pachter, a Wedbush analyst.

For Wall Street, that could let the 7-year-old franchise easily keep its AAA rating.

-- Alex Pham


Call of Duty: Black Ops launches Tuesday; Will it measure up?