Activision sold over 6.5 million copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in the US and UK in just 24 hours
It’s over for Harry Potter. The final film’s record box office opening was shattered by Activision’s launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The new game from Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games beat out Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (now out on Blu-ray) as well as the reigning game champion, Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops. Modern Warfare 3 sold over 6.5 million copies in just the US and UK and generated over $400 million in its first 24 hours at retail, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information.
This marks the third consecutive year that the Call of Duty franchise has set day one launch records across all forms of entertainment, something no other entertainment franchise in any medium has ever accomplished. Last year, in North America and the United Kingdom, Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops™ had estimated day-one sell-through of $360 million and in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, set day-one records with estimated sell through of $310 million, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information.
On November 8, 2011, millions of fans attended more than 13,000 midnight openings at retail stores around worldwide. According to Microsoft, after just two days, the number of gamers playing simultaneously on Xbox Live set a new peak concurrency record.
“We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard. “Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings,” two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.”
Eric Hirshberg, CEO, Activision Publishing added, “Call of Duty is more than a game. It’s become a major part of the pop cultural landscape. It is a game that core enthusiasts love, but that also consistently draws new people into the medium. It is the most intense, adrenaline pumping entertainment experience anywhere. I would like to thank our incredible teams at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games for making a brilliant game. But most of all, I would like to thank our millions of passionate fans worldwide. We made this game for you.”
This is good news for the game industry, which also saw Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3 from DICE sell over 5 million copies in its first week at retail worldwide. That game is expected to sell 10 million copies by Christmas according to analysts. Modern Warfare 3 is forecast to sell as many as 20 million copies by the end of the year.
Separately, Activision announced this morning that in support and gratitude for the efforts of American servicemen and women, this Veterans Day it donated $3 million to the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit, public benefit corporation that seeks to provide job placement and training for veterans. This latest donation will be added to the $2 million that Activision has already donated to the Endowment, which has provided more than $1.5 million in grants and scholarships to veterans’ organizations across the country since it was conceived by Bobby Kotick in November of 2009.
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