Last week's launch of the Call of Duty: Elite subscription service may have been marred by technical problems, but the accompanying debut of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 suffered no such setbacks. Activision today touted the multiplatform military shooter as the biggest launch ever (in terms of sales) "across all forms of entertainment," with a five-day worldwide sell-through of $775 million.
That total was enough to wrest the title from the previous five-day record holder, last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops. The Cold War-era installment of the series netted $650 million in its opening stretch, dethroning its own predecessor, 2009's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. That title brought in a $550 million haul at retailers worldwide in its first five days on sale. Additionally, Activision said Modern Warfare 3 was the best-selling North American game launch of all time for five of its retail partners: Amazon.com, GameStop, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart.
Modern Warfare 3 proved to be a juggernaut beyond brick-and-mortar retailers, as the game's online component also posted new records. Activision and Microsoft said the Xbox 360 version of the game saw 3.3 million players log more than 7 million multiplayer hours in the game's first day on sale, besting the 2.6 million players and 5.9 million multiplayer hours Black Ops managed a year before. Modern Warfare 3 also set a concurrent player record on Xbox Live, with 3.3 million players online simultaneously on launch day.
Sony did not release PlayStation Network statistics for the game, but SCEA president and CEO Jack Tretton did say the launch had been "hugely successful" on Sony's platform.
For more on the game behind these sales figures, check out GameSpot's review of Modern Warfare 3.