CoD: Modern Warfare 3 hits US$1bn sales, eclipses Avatar

12 Dec 2011

Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has crossed the US$1bn threshold in sales, making it the only entertainment product to eclipse Avatar’s 17-day record in reaching US$1bn in 2009.

The game achieved this milestone in just 16 days.

Activision said Call of Duty is now amongst that rarefied group of sustained franchises like Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and the National Football League (NFL) that attract or engage tens of millions of people every year or every new release.

While 2011 box-office revenue is on the decline – down 4pc this year at US$9.4bn, compared with US$9.8bn in 2010 – the number of people purchasing and participating in gaming is on the rise, with no sign of slowing.

With more than 30m gamers, the Call of Duty community now exceeds the combined populations of the cities of New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Madrid.

“Engagement of our Call of Duty audience continues to rise around the world,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.

Call of Duty as an entertainment franchise has made an indelible mark on popular culture and its broad and continued success is further validation that audiences increasingly value interactive experiences over passive experiences.”

Call of Duty Elite also shatters previous records

Call of Duty Elite is one of the fastest-growing online services ever, with more than 6m players registered since its launch on 8 November 2011, and more than 1m premium subscriptions sold to date.

By comparison, the premium subscription services of Netflix, Hulu Plus, Sirius XM and Xbox LIVE, did not reach 1m paid subscribers until almost one year after launch, Activision said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years