The success of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the new first-person shooter published by Activision, has reportedly helped boost profits for the most popular video game retailer in the US. According to the Associated Press, sales rose to $1.83 billion in the most recent quarter at GameStop.
That's a sizable increase over the $1.7 billion figure from the same time last year. More important, it's hope for the video game industry at large, which has struggled to fight its way out of a prolonged sales slump. In an interview with the AP, GameStop CEO Daniel DeMatteo said that Modern Warfare 2 could presage a turnaround in industry health.
"We are optimistic that the huge success of this game will serve as a bellwether for what we can expect for the remainder of our holiday game sales," DeMatteo said.
It's a lot to put on one game's shoulders, but as we've reported recently, Modern Warfare 2 has shattered several sales records, including the one for most successful launch in entertainment history. Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 million copies in the first 24 hours in the US and the UK, raking in $310 million. By comparison, "The Dark Knight" made only $155 million in its opening weekend. More people saw that movie than played Modern Warfare 2, but dollars are dollars.
For its part, GameStop 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.
Meanwhile, Activision says Modern Warfare 2 grossed $550 million in worldwide sales since last week's launch – another entertainment industry record. The Los Angeles Times, citing a source at Activision, reports that 8 million copies of the game have been sold; analysts expect that at least another 10 million games will be eventually be unloaded.
"The title's success redefines entertainment as millions of consumers have chosen to play Modern Warfare 2 at unprecedented levels rather than engage in other forms of media," Activision CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement yesterday.
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