Modern Warfare 2 five-day sales hit $550 million

[UPDATE] Activision claims Infinity Ward's latest shooter breaks host of 24-, 120-hour entertainment records spanning games, movies, books; LA Times pegs budget at $200 million including marketing and distribution.

Taking into consideration just North America and the UK, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's launch could be considered a resounding success. Two days after Infinity Ward's modern military shooter's November 10 launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, Activision said that the game had sold 4.7 million units in the two aforementioned territories in 24 hours, generating revenue in the neighborhood of $310 million.

Modern Warfare 2 brought in more than half a billion dollars within a week.

Today, Activision returned to provide more blockbuster Modern Warfare 2 sales statistics. According to the publisher's internal estimates, Modern Warfare 2 generated $550 million during its first five days on the market, a figure that sets a new entertainment record for the period. Activision did not provide a unit-sales update, however, and had not responded to requests for clarification as of press time.

The publisher did make claim to a variety of first- and five-day entertainment records spanning movies, books, and games. Beginning with the most direct comparison, Activision claims Modern Warfare 2 bested Grand Theft Auto IV's first-day worldwide game sales records of 3.6 million units and $310 million. The game also apparently busted GTAIV's five-day global haul of 6 million units on $500 million of gross revenue.

As for other media, Activision said that Modern Warfare 2 broke Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince's five-day global box-office record of $394 million. The game also eclipsed The Dark Knight's first- and five-day domestic theatrical opening, which stood at $66.4 million and $203.8 million, respectively. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows' first-day book sales record of $220 million was also surpassed.

In terms of usage, Activision said that more than 5.2 million hours of multiplayer matches were played through Xbox Live on November 10. The publisher also noted Xbox Live's new concurrent user record of 2.2 million following Modern Warfare 2's launch, before saying that some 11 million achievements were earned within 24 hours.

[UPDATE] According to the Los Angeles Times, Modern Warfare 2's success didn't come cheap. The paper reports that the game had a budget between $40 million and $50 million before the cost of worldwide marketing, disc production, and distribution to retailers. Once those costs and the royalties paid to Microsoft and Sony are factored in, the game's final overall budget is estimated at around $200 million. The figure means that Activision spent far more producing, distributing, and marketing Modern Warfare 2 than it did developing it.

Check out GameSpot's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launch center for more on the top-selling shooter.

Written By

Want the latest news about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Follow

Discussion

338 comments
TheRealUser101
TheRealUser101

The online multiplayer mode of Modern Warfare 2 has the same experience points and unlockable reward system as that of Call of Duty: MW3 multiplayer. Activision announced Call of Duty Elite will be fully integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and allows tracking and comparing statistics with other MW3 players.

gamehog5
gamehog5

WOW! brainwashing does work!

furgoogle
furgoogle

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

RACOON-CITY
RACOON-CITY

Was expected....$90 of that I helped contribute :) Worth Every Penny.

Egostristy
Egostristy

Meh, had to happen. The first Modern Warfare was both good and popular. Not tried it yet though... Hmm...

FinalDuo1886
FinalDuo1886

@ rann89 Took the words right out of my mouth.

jeffv541
jeffv541

@remysola glad you said it so I don't have to... again...

jeffv541
jeffv541

And the generic action shooter of the season sells a whole bunch of copies. Who would have guessed??

animech
animech

Who said advertising is cheap?

frankblack789
frankblack789

@wondernova they spent $50 million developing the game but $150 million marketing & distributing the game. that is the DEFINITION of ramming a game down our collective throats.

wondernova
wondernova

@ kytomasi examples of how they rammed it down your throat please? the movie industry is a lot worse then what has gone on here.

rann89
rann89

Still of bunch of ignorant people who don't understand opening sales are made by hype, not content.

kytomasi
kytomasi

$550,000,000 huh. "The figure means that Activision spent at least three times as much marketing the game as it did developing it" lol i find that pretty funny... Glad they spent so much ramming a game down our throats other then actually "Developing" the game. Funny how my "test" PC ran MW2 better then MW1(both on max setting)

Alucard7321
Alucard7321

@UnknownForm They really said that?! Haha...wow! I see they still have that whole delusion their console is that popular let alone can compete against such games. If any of these developers who were involved in this game have kids, they are going to have one CRAZY Christmas present-fest this year!!

efunk25
efunk25

Mario will be cleaning toilets over at Infinity Ward after this game

UnknownForm
UnknownForm

And Nintendo said that there New Super Mario Bro. Wii will beat Modern Warfare 2 in sales...let's see them beat 4.8 million on one day!!

Somebody89
Somebody89

It was a fun game to play with an intense but short campaign, but I'm still sticking with Uncharted 2 for my pick as GOTY.

aryanbrar
aryanbrar

amazing game which was overhyped. damn 550 mil thats a lot of money.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Got only 2x Spec Ops to do in Veteran Mode (missions 2 & 3 in Echo), damn Juggernauts!!!!!

SgtSilock
SgtSilock

Why did they spend that much on advertisment? As if game needed it.

Roosterd95
Roosterd95

Fun for a while, then I went back to Dragon Age. Shouldn't really get GOTY, it's to much of the same. But I have no doubt it will win since it 'sold the most'.

Fed__X
Fed__X

I enjoyed the campaign very much. The action was better than the first. Honestly anything is better than WAW. That has to be the weakest installment in the series. It's an opinion anyway. Besides my wife enjoys the series and she thought World at war was horrible. You can't argue with that bros.

BatThink
BatThink

Modern Warfare 2 is a fantastic sequel. The only thing they could have done better is the matchmaking and searching for games which is streining under the pressure with the sheer amount of people online playing it, but that will soon be fixed.

delcidanddarth
delcidanddarth

There's always going to be ppl who don't like the new game, because a sequel done right is going to be at least slightly different from the original. So, fanboys of the original are going to complain. Then there's the fanboys of hating on the game. Imagine this scenario... your studio just made one of the most awesome FPS games (MW1), it broke all kinds of records. Are you NOT going to advertise the heck out of the sequel? Some would say that spending $150million on advertising is too much, that it would have been better off being spent on developing. Well, that's only a good argument if advertising worldwide didn't cost $150million dollars. And they already spent $50million on the game, what more do you want? Stop whining, and either play the game or not.

efunk25
efunk25

I heard that most Pirated games are Rated aRRRRRR.

atopp399
atopp399

Some people are morons. You think there is not pirating on consoles? That is pretty funny.

BatThink
BatThink

Nah, just jokeing, thats a hell of alot to spend on advertising when this game out of all games really didn't need that much advertising, we all knew its was going to be good, we were all going to buy it, no advertising needed!

Gamesmasterx
Gamesmasterx

@efunk25 Yes, the level design is pretty good. But as I said, I feel the gameplay is where it lacks, which is odd because i enjoyed the campaign and spec-ops.

BatThink
BatThink

They spent so much on advertising for this game but i have never heard of it! Is Call Of Duty good? Modern Warfare 2? Is that a different game.

Hoikensnogin
Hoikensnogin

"The figure means that Activision spent at least three times as much marketing the game as it did developing it" And this is very obvious when you play the game. This game can't hold a candle to COD4. It's not even as good as COD5WaW.

remysola
remysola

Ahh $150 Million invested in brain wash.

jedikevin2
jedikevin2

LOL ernelson1976. LOL. When you degrade a game so much its not even worth getting. People wouldn't be whining if they didn't do all the last minute things to the PC version. ITs more the fact company reviewers gave the game such high scores for a version that is such a bad port over and lost of features its hiliarious. Pirating is rampant on everything but the ps3. Just because you saw 1 million folks on xbox live doesn't mean it has stopped at all. That is a drop in the bucket to the people who actually are pirating on the system. The real problem is that the PC version was shanked because of the company trying anti piracy which failed for no reason. And to add insult, there choice in using the steam VAC system has done nothing to stop hackers. Everyone knew once they went with steam then you messing with a anti cheating system that takes so long to do anything its funny.

efunk25
efunk25

@Gamesmasterx I see, I just finished the Single player campaign on Veteran and Now I'm going to start playing more of the online MP. Like most people that is why I got the game so I hope it doesn't disappoint to much. I have only played online a few times and the Maps seem pretty good.

ernelson1976
ernelson1976

I'm always amused to the reactions. Of course MW2 was going to sell well. It'll probably sell ten million copies in the end (I'm waiting to buy it used). I'm a little tired of hearing PC gamers whine, though. Seriously, be happy you've got the game at all. Pirating is so rampant on the PC that it hardly makes sense for them to even make the PC version at all. As for pirating on the consoles, we all know where that led. The alleged million kicked from Live had very little effect on sales. Activision knew that would be the case: after all, they have the sales data, not us. And then there's those who want Activision bankrupt: sure, that's fine. But you won't see the games you want anymore. If you want the games, you've got to grow up and realize that people make games to make money. It's a living.

i_have_skills
i_have_skills

Wow, I can only imagine if they spent that extra $150 into developing this game =O. @ So7_Thrasher your basiclly right. MW2 is made for anyone to be really good. Capmers were annoying in MW1, but now in MW2 lets give them scrabmler and a heartbeat sensor....=/. There isnt really a sense of "run and gun" anymore in MW2. Where as in MW1 if your good, your good. If you sucked, you sucked,lol. Oh well all in all MW2 is a pretty solid game, starting to miss MW1 a little though.

HaLoMaStErJT
HaLoMaStErJT

the game itself is good but it is way too overhyped

Bored1ed
Bored1ed

@Melty: I mainly game on PC yet I do play my Xbox360 from time to time. Am I less stupid because I use both? Explain this to me...

Ethelwulfx
Ethelwulfx

@ melty3219 You think there is no piracy in the consoles? Just so you know 2 weeks before the release the game was on the internet for the 360. I love IW, but i Hope activision will burn in hell. If i could id buy activision and then make them go bankrupt. They didn't screw up the pirating community, infact there are already mods, there is lean, there is console, and there will be dedicated servers. and guess what it is being pirated as hell. Besides they also screwed over the modding community, guys like me who like to make some maps, they just want the fricking money from DLCs... to conclude... MW2 was the worst boycott in history. Anyhow, i hope activision burns in hell and all that crap.

Mister__Awesome
Mister__Awesome

I think this is your classic game that is fueled solely on the Multiplayer. The overall game experience is good, but i feel this is a direct result of marketing at its finest.

melty3219
melty3219

pc gamers are stupid elitists who deserved to get screwed over. i love IW for screwing over the PIRATING community! bravo!

nh2999
nh2999

"When are we going to stop having a news article every time a new Modern Warfare 2 sales figure comes in?" Agreed 100% This is getting ridiculous...

mugupo
mugupo

It make more money than most movie this day.

StephenBassford
StephenBassford

Like I said before, these numbers would be so much higher if Infinity Ward and Activision gave a crap about their PC gamers.

ichiban30
ichiban30

$200 million to bring up the hype... guess it worked... SP story was pretty good ..pretty intense MP is good..

swamptick
swamptick

Despite all the trolls and uneducated children posting here, this just goes to show you that if you put out a good product, people will buy it.

jazilla
jazilla

$200 million on marketing for a game whose previous installment was one of the highest selling of all time to that point? Seems to me that they could have spent half that money and still sold this many copies. They won't get my money though. Bobby Kotick is a thug. I won't line that miser's coffers with any of my phat lewts.

Gamesmasterx
Gamesmasterx

@efunk25 I don't know really, a sequel to me is the same game with much more to it. Suddenly changing a game like GTA:SA went from fun and unrealistic to GTAIV not so fun (opinion) and realistic. Vice city was upgraded to san andreas with tons more features, missions and the like. But for the multiplayer on MW2, to me it's just completely different. Not too sure why, but thats just how it feels.

GOR_TAK
GOR_TAK

Wow, sure is a good thing Activision pressured MS to dump those 1 million modded console users otherwise they would have been in the poor house for sure.