Despite much drama and what looked like a significant potential fanbase loss, Activision has done it again, breaking the day-one video game release record for the third consecutive year with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
In its first 24 hours the game sold 6.5 million copies (including its record-breaking pre-orders), which equals out to $400 million. That breaks last year’s record of $360 million set by Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the prior year’s record of $310 million set by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
It’s estimated that by the end of the year Modern Warfare 3 will have over 20 million units sold, which would equal out to around $1.2 billion in sales. Black Ops hit the $1 billion mark in six months. It’s also said that the Call of Duty franchise as a whole has now surpassed both the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings franchises, if that tells you anything.
The feat is notable because after Activision dismantled Infinity Ward, many thought the Modern Warfare franchise was doomed. But the remaining Infinity Ward team with the help of Sledgehammer Games joined forces and appear to have knocked another one out of the park.
Quite the little rivalry had been born over the summer as jaw-dropping footage of EA’s competing title, Battlefield 3, had swarms of people swearing off Call of Duty and claiming loyalty to the prematurely declared new “king” of shooters. The new Battlefield has done well, hitting around 5 million copies sold in its first week, but the “rivalry” was quickly and cleanly put to sleep by the juggernaut that is Modern Warfare, which surpassed said first-week sales in one day.
Mini-feuds will rage on with different people preferring one or the other, but one thing has been reaffirmed with thunderous clarity: Modern Warfare remains an untouchable titan atop the mountain that is first-person shooters.