Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment product launch ever. The military shooter game raised around $400 million in just 24 hours, having sold around 6.5 million units, according to publisher Activision Blizzard. And those figures relate only to the UK and US markets.
The claim that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch in history is difficult to prove. This year, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 made $483 million worldwide over its opening weekend, making it the highest-grossing movie opening, ever. The equivalent, US/UK-first-24-hours, figure is believed to be around $80 million - a figure dwarfed by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
Around 13,000 shops opened at midnight last Monday to allow gamers to buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and it worked, previous games didn't sell quite as well. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 topped 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which sold 4.7m copies in the first 24 hours for around $310m in revenue, and 2010's Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6m copies in its first day.
In describing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 our reviewer said: "Activision manages the tricky feat of offering more of the same for the fans and some shiny new features for the non-fans."
He concludes: "The latest CoD has, unsurprisingly, a silly and confusing singleplayer campaign, but the barrier to entry for the satisfying multiplayer has been lifted smartly."
Commenting on the results, Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick said: "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. 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."
Activision Publishing chief executive Eric Hirshberg said: "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."