Modern Warfare 3 closes on $1bn

Hits nearly $800m in just five days for a new revenue record

November 18, 2011
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3

Activision has announced that the latest instalment of its behemoth Call of Duty franchise has shattered records once more.

Now its first five day sales figures are in – that’s to the end of last week – and it has notched up global revenue to the tune of $775 million, quite a staggering total.

That has outdone predecessor Black Ops which managed $650 million in the same time frame (and Modern Warfare 2 which racked up $550 million). Activision states that these are Chart Track figures.

This means Modern Warfare 3 is the best selling entertainment franchise of all-time during its debut week, and that includes not just games but films, books and any form of entertainment.

Interestingly in the UK, Modern Warfare 3 topped Black Ops for revenue in its first three days, but didn’t quite best the older game in terms of units shifted. In fact Black Ops sold around 1.5% more copies in the UK – although that might have changed over five days.

Activision also boasted about MW3 breaking two records on Xbox Live, with 3.3 million playing the game online on launch day, up considerably from the 2.6 million which Black Ops managed.

The other record was the number of hours played on launch day – over 7 million hours, up a million on Black Ops.

Amongst the back-slapping in the Activision board room, CEO Bobby Kotick said: “Life-to-date retail sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded $6 billion worldwide, which makes Call of Duty one of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world.”

“We expect continued sales momentum, as reviews and audience enthusiasm suggest that this is the best Call of Duty game that we have ever made.”

Some reviews and reactions suggest otherwise, mind, and that Activision didn’t tinker enough with the formula. But then again, when it’s a winning one, the tendency is not to risk much.


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