Activision released the Infinity Ward-developed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 in November 2009, and it was kind of a big deal. Within 24 hours, the game had sold 4.7 million units in the US, Canada, and UK alone, generating more than $330 million in the process. By the end of its first week, the game had smashed records across a variety of media, as the sales juggernaut passed the $550 million marker and eventually pulled in more than $1 billion.
Last night, thousands of retailers across the globe began selling Modern Warfare 2's follow-up, the Treyarch-developed Call of Duty: Black Ops, and the largest of those specialty shops believes Activision will be pleased with the results. Speaking to Gamasutra, GameStop merchandising senior VP Bob McKenzie said Black Ops' launch will eclipse that of Modern Warfare 2.
"I think it's a loyal fan base for the franchise and [Activision has] done a great job of really getting out in front of it and really making this an event," McKenzie said. "I'm convinced it'll be the biggest launch that we've ever had, that the industry has ever seen…Each one of these, they get so much bigger that you kind of look at it…thinking each one can't be bigger than the prior year. But really, for over 12 weeks we've been tracking at a number that surpassed last year's."
McKenzie also noted that he does not believe consumers will be deterred by the fact that Treyarch is developing this year's Call of Duty title, and not the destabilized Infinity Ward outfit.
"You look at the history of Call of Duty, and they've had the dual studios for so many years that this is not out of sequence," he said. "The consumer…is used to and accepting of the fact that Treyarch does one and then it's [Infinity Ward] doing the next. I think that if that cycle was broken…then I'd have a little more hesitation. But, again, everything is in line."
Call of Duty: Black Ops is now available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, and PC. For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.