The first customer picks up his game of Call of Duty: Ghosts in a shopping centre in east London on November 4, 2013. Devotees of the decade-old franchise descended on European shopping centres on Tuesday to get their hands on the latest release from the blockbusting 'Call of Duty' videogame franchise, which went on sale at midnight across the continent. - 

"Call of Duty" is one of the most popular video game franchises in the world.  Still, its publisher, Activision, spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year to market each new version to players.  

The latest version, "Call of Duty: Ghosts," is out today and there’s even more competition than usual. Sales of last year’s installment topped a $1 billion in 16 days, but in September competitor "Grand Theft Auto: V" hit $1 billion in sales in just 3 days. 

No wonder a Hollywood Director shot Activision’s ad for the new "Call of Duty," featuring actress Megan Fox.

"That’s a sign of them not leaving anything to chance," explains Kris Graft, editor of Gamasutra. "They don’t want to spare any expense and risk the chance of potentially dropping off of people’s radars especially as we head into the holiday shopping season." 

Game publishers also have shareholders to please, says Dan Hsu, editor of GamesBeat. "Whatever the game franchise is, you see them come up a lot year after year because there’s so much pressure on these public companies to produce revenue."

This year, gamers on a budget have more than new games to choose from. Microsoft and Sony both launch pricey new consoles later this month.