Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 sets new launch records

Activision boasts latest military shooter sells 6.5 million units in US, UK within 24 hours; revenue tops $400 million.

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Those who thought Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 couldn't top last year's Black Ops record-setting performance can think again. Today, Activision announced that it has again set a new high-water mark for its Call of Duty series, as Modern Warfare 3 sold more than 6.5 million units in the US and UK within its first 24 hours of availability.

Modern Warfare 3's day-one haul includes only two regions.
Modern Warfare 3's day-one haul includes only two regions.

Calling it the "biggest entertainment launch ever," Activision said that its latest first-person shooter generated more than $400 million in day-one revenue in the US and UK alone. That figure tops Black Ops' $360 million in 2010 and Modern Warfare 2's $310 million in 2009, both of which set launch records across all forms of entertainment.

"Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row," commented Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time."

Modern Warfare 3's arrival has also been a boon for Xbox Live. According to Activision, Microsoft posted a new record for most players using Xbox Live at one time following the launch of Modern Warfare 3.

Though analysts had been predicting Modern Warfare 3's multimillion-unit launch, the game's popularity apparently caught Activision off guard. Upon its launch on Monday, its new social platform Elite experienced significant instability due to heavy demand. As a make-good for that rocky launch, Activision is offering paid Elite subscribers an extra month free of charge.

For more information, check out GameSpot's review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

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