Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sets sales record; hoopla reigns
"We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium," Activision Blizzard chief executive Bobby Kotick said in a statement Friday.
That claim is up for debate, but for launch-day sales of a video game, Modern Warfare 3 appears to have broken the previous record held by Call of Duty: Black Ops, which generated $360 million on its first day last year.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of the company's Activision Publishing unit, called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 "more than a game. It's become a major part of the pop cultural landscape."
High-flying words, but 6.5 million units sold in 24 hours in North America and Britain give the hoopla some validation.
The super-violent new video game almost generated some real violence this week when one fan seemed to become unhinged when a Denver area store didn't have his pre-ordered game. Police said he threatened to blow up the store and asked employees when they were getting off work so he could meet them in the parking lot and shoot them.
"Investigating officers issued a criminal summons to a man who threatened to carry out his own version of Modern Warfare at the electronics store. Fortunately, this situation did not end in violence," Aurora police spokesman Det. Bob Friel said Monday.
Activision showed its humanitarian bent Friday with a Veterans Day donation of $3 million to the Call of Duty Endowment, a nonprofit that aims to provide veterans with job placement assistance and training. The company said the contribution was in addition to the $2 million it already donated to the endowment
— Amy Hubbard
Photo: At the release this week of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 at a GameStop store in Las Vegas, employee Bradley Duncan gives out posters marking the event. Credit: Ethan Miller / Getty Images