We all knew Modern Warfare 3 was going to sell well, but who knew how well? Activision announced in a press release (see bottom) this morning that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the fastest ever entertainment property to earn $1 billion, reaching that mark in 16 days. The previous record was held by the blockbuster film Avatar, which made it to $1 billion in 17 days.

That $1 billion mark means that, assuming the default retail price of $60, the shooter event of the year sold over 15 million copies in just over 2 weeks. (The actual number would be lower because of collector’s editions and higher prices in other countries.) Most games would be happy to sell 1 million at all. These amazing sales, in addition to validating Activision’s production policy, also highlight a couple things about the gaming industry. Even though we knew these before, those numbers are pretty strong evidence.


First: We’ve definitely hit the mainstream. Now, obviously video games are a lot more expensive than a ticket to the movies, but it still says a lot that millions of people shell out that $60 in just a couple of weeks. The release of a guaranteed bestseller like Call of Duty is at least as big an event as a blockbuster movie, just not in as wide a market. That will change, too, as today’s kids and 20-something’s get older and enter the older demographics.


Second: Community is a big part of video games. Now, CoD is undeniably a well-made game, but there certainly are contenders which you would think would sell nearly as well. But they don’t. MW3’s biggest contender this year, DICE’s Battlefield 3, sold around 8 million by the end of November – more than a month after it came out. Half as much in twice the time. The reason for this is pretty simple: people buy Call of Duty because, well, everyone else is going to buy Call of Duty. It’s analogous to the situation in the MMORPG genre – everyone plays World of Warcraft because everyone else also plays World of Warcraft. Battlefield 3 as a “CoD-killer” is the same as, say, Rift as a “WoW-killer”. Both of these games are community, multiplayer games. They both have an established fanbase far beyond any of their competitors, and it will be very hard to dislodge either without some serious rebalancing of the status quo. Now, as promised, here’s a copy of the press release:



Source: GameInformer

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