By 14 November 2011 | Categories: news


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has led a blistering, unrelenting and unprecedented attack not only on gamers’ wallets and time, but also on sales figures as well, to decimate its own day-one sales records.

Activision revealed that the title had become the biggest entertainment launch ever, with an estimated sell-through of more than $400 million (R3120 million), and more than 6.5 million units sold in North America and the United Kingdom alone, in the first 24 hours of its release last week.

Additionally, the Call of Duty franchise also has the honour of setting day one launch records for three years in a row, something the company pointed out was a feat no other entertainment franchise in any medium has ever accomplished.

Figure it out

Last year, in North America and the UK, Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops had estimated day-one sell-through of $360 million (R2772 million) and in 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, set day-one records with an estimated $310 million (R2387 million).

"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," asserted Bobby Kotick, the chief executive officer of Activision Blizzard.

What’s more, Microsoft reported that the number of gamers playing the game simultaneously on Xbox  Live set a new peak concurrency record.

Beyond adversity

What makes the title’s accomplishment even more impressive is that Modern Warfare 3 has been shrouded by its fair share of drama, both prior to its development and days before it hit shelves. The first of these was concerns that  Modern Warfare 3’s development was reportedly being hampered by a legal dispute between Infinity Ward former heads Jason West and Vince Zampella, and Activision eighteen months ago.  

Then, at the end of October this year, the PC version of the game was apparently leaked online after a shipping warehouse employee in California managed to get his hands on the game’s second disc.  

The most dramatic incident though, came from reports last week that two assailants attacked a truck in France carrying 6000 copies of the game, colliding with a delivery car and tear-gassing the drivers before making off with the shipment.

Top of the list

Nonetheless, the game has proved popular not just with criminals and players, but with global information and measurement company Nielsen as well, where it took top spot as Top 20 Games to Watch based on an indepth survey conducted earlier this year.  

"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," concluded Eric Hirshberg, chief executive officer of Activision Publishing.



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