Friday, November 19, 2010

Call of Duty Smashes Five-Day Sales Records

By: Nick Bilton, New York Times, BITS Blog..

The latest first-person shooter video game, Call of Duty: Black Ops, continues to break records worldwide after going on sale late last week.

According to Activision, its publisher, just five days after its release the game has generated more than $650 million in worldwide sales, beating out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which smashed previous sale records when it was released last year.

Just to compare, “The Dark Knight,” the top-grossing movie as measured five days after release, pulled in $200 million.

Eric Hirshberg, chief executive of Activision, said in a phone interview that the game was “the biggest five-day launch in entertainment history across any media,” including theater, movies and gaming.

“I think this speaks volumes for the appetite that people have for great immersive gaming experiences,” Mr. Hirshberg said. “Treyarch, the game’s creators, really upped the ante on the quality of the story and the characters, and it really plays like a blockbuster movie where you’re the central actor.”

In a press release, Activision said Black Ops has also surpassed online gaming records. Since the game’s introduction on Nov. 9, more than 5.9 million multiplayer hours were logged on the Microsoft Xbox platform where gamers can battle each other in the virtual worlds. The release also noted that more than 2.6 million people had played the game in the last five days.

Mr. Hirshberg said people had purchased relatively equal numbers of the game for different gaming platforms, including the Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation PS3, desktop PCs and the Nintendo Wii. “It seems to be across the board people are immersed in the game, irrelevant of gaming systems,” he said.

The company said it had also seen heightened interest in the 3-D version of the game, although relatively few people have 3-D televisions.

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