Modern Warfare 2 day-one sales could total 7 million - Analyst

Broadpoint AmTech's Ben Schachter says game could top 11.7 million units globally in first week--nearly as much as analysts believed it would take in all quarter.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is barely two days old, but it is already breaking records. This morning, research firm Gfk Chart-Track reported that the game sold over 1.23 million units in the UK in 24 hours, nearly twice that of Grand Theft Auto IV's 631,000-unit day-one take in 2008.

Siberian retail sales figures for Modern Warfare 2 are not yet available.
Siberian retail sales figures for Modern Warfare 2 are not yet available.

Using UK sales as a basis, Broadpoint AmTech analyst Ben Schachter has extrapolated Modern Warfare 2's day-one global sales could total about 7 million units. Then, using GTAIV's sales history as a model, he concludes that first-week worldwide sales of the military shooter could top around 11.7 million units. That's nearly as much as the 12 million units a consensus of analysts estimated the game would sell during the entire October-December quarter.

"While the two-times week-one tally for GTA IV may seem aggressive, the bottom line is that we believe current consensus estimates of around 12 million for the December quarter may end up being conservative," he wrote in a note sent to investors this morning.

However, Schachter cautioned that the extrapolated figure may be less for a variety of reasons. First, shooters historically perform better in the US and UK, as opposed to territories, such as violence-averse Germany, where the game's controversial terrorist sequence was reportedly censored.

Second, Schachter pointed out that Modern Warfare 2 sales may have been inflated due to a price war between UK supermarkets and retailers. Several nationwide outlets had drastically marked down the Activision game as a loss leader to draw in customers.

For more information on Modern Warfare 2, visit GameSpot's launch center.

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