New ‘Call of Duty’ breaks sales record, as Activision promised


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Proving that more fans that ever are eager to get their hands on a new ‘Call of Duty,’ Activision said Thurday that ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ set a record for first-day sales of a video game.

The new military action game set during the Cold War sold about 5.6 million copies in the U.S., Canada and Great Britain, generating $360 million in retail sales.


The previous record holder was last year’s ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,’ which sold 4.7 million units its first day and brought in $310 million.

Bobby Kotick, chief executive of Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard Inc., said on an earnings call with Wall Street analysts last week that Black Ops would likely enjoy ‘the biggest entertainment launch of all time.’

Comparisons to other media aren’t always valid, however. Movies, for instance, generate most of their revenue after their theatrical debuts, from DVDs and television distribution.

While ‘Black Ops’ is now the fastest-selling video game out of the gate, it remains to be seen if sales will stay strong. ‘Modern Warfare 2’ sold 16 million units last November and December and brought its total to more than 20 million this year. Activision has projected that ‘Black Ops’ would ultimately sell fewer copies than ‘Modern Warfare 2’ through the end of this year.

Reviews for ‘Black Ops,’ while good, haven’t been as strong as they were for ‘Modern Warfare 2.’ The reactions of players who post their opinions online, meanwhile, have been far from stellar.

— Ben Fritz


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