Infinity Ward certainly hasn't been skirting controversy in the lead-up to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's impending November 10 launch. Last month, the developer received flak from the enthusiast PC community over its decision to not support player-run, mod-friendly dedicated servers. Shortly thereafter, Infinity Ward raised eyebrows after confirming the authenticity of leaked footage that revealed a controversial sequence in the single-player campaign.
Public-relations headaches they may be, but the gaffes have ostensibly done nothing to stymie demand for Infinity Ward's latest. Speaking to USA Today, GameStop executive vice president for merchandising and marketing Tony Bartel said today that Modern Warfare 2 is the single most preordered game in the specialty retailer's history.
"By all indicators, we anticipate Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 will be the biggest entertainment launch of all time," he said. "As of today, the number of preorder reservations we've taken for the game is the highest for any title we've ever sold in our 6,200 store network." In August, Activision said that Modern Warfare 2 had become the most preordered game in the publisher's history.
Bartel didn't specify which game Modern Warfare 2 eclipsed, though a likely contender would be Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto IV. The top-rated action adventure launched in April 2008 to opening-week sales of $500 million, a figure which Take-Two chairman Strauss Zelnick constituted "the largest launch in the history of interactive entertainment, and we believe these retail sales levels surpass any movie or music launch to date."
[UPDATE] A GameStop representative has confirmed that the previous most preordered game was Microsoft and Bungie's Xbox 360-exclusive Halo 3.
GameStop is offering a number of preorder incentives to go along with Modern Warfare 2's launch. Namely, those who purchase the game in advance at the specialty retailer can enter to win a number of prizes inspired by the game, including a Hummer H2, Polaris snowmobile, and Ducati motorcycle.
Modern Warfare 2 will be available for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 10. For more information on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.