Call of Duty series sales top 3 billion, Activision says

Blockbuster sales of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 have helped push the Call of Duty franchise past the $3 billion mark.

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It's been a very good month for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a video game developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. The sales figures have been monumental: 4.7 million copies of Modern Warfare 2 were sold in the first 24 hours alone, breaking the record for most successful entertainment launch of all time.

Worldwide, Modern Warfare 2 grossed $550 million worldwide since last week’s launch – another entertainment industry record. For its part, retail chain GameStop recently announced it had unloaded 2.5 million copies of Modern Warfare 2 within 72 hours of the game’s release, breaking the previous company record and helping to buoy Q3 earnings.

Now Activision has another trophy to add to the shelf. According to Reuters, the Call of Duty series – which includes Modern Warfare 2, along with Call of Duty: World at War and others – has surpassed $3 billion mark in global retail sales. That $3 billion comes from the estimated 55 million Call of Duty units that have been sold since 2003, when the series launched.

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"If you consider the number of hours our audiences are engaged in playing Call of Duty games, it is likely to be one of the most viewed of all entertainment experiences in modern history," Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in a statement. The $3 billion figure is based on internal company figures, and data from a handful of tracking firms, including NPD group.

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Related: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 review roundup.

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