Call of Duty: Black Ops breaks billion-dollar sales barrier
The military action video game has racked up $1 billion in retail sales worldwide since its release Nov. 9, according to the Santa Monica-based game publisher, hitting the 10-digit mark in record time.
Activision also said in a statement that players logged 600 million hours on Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox Live online games platform where people can play against human opponents.
The title's success is critical for Activision, which is working to fill a talent gap that was created by an exodus earlier this year of artists, programmers and designers from its primary Call of Duty development studio, Infinity Ward in Encino. Black Ops was developed by a separate Activision studio, Treyarch in Santa Monica.
Activision is eager to prove to investors that its multi-billion dollar Call of Duty franchise can continue to succeed without Infinity Ward's top developers. The company's shares gained 2 cents to $12.23 Tuesday.
— Alex Pham
Photo: Joe Chen, 18, in Sacramento purchasing his copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops in November. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press.