Call of Duty: Black Ops launch beats MW2

Activision announces today that its launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops bested Modern Warfare 2, making it the top video game launch in history.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Move over Modern Warfare 2.
Move over Modern Warfare 2. Activision

And just like that, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's $310 million launch day revenue record has been shattered.

Activision announced today that Call of Duty: Black Ops, which launched on Tuesday, generated about $360 million in revenue during its first 24 hours of availability, according to the game company's internal estimates. The figure includes sales from North America and the U.K., Activision reported. The game company was quick to point out that Black Ops is now the "biggest entertainment launch in history," stealing the title from its predecessor.

It wasn't just Black Ops' revenue that outpaced Modern Warfare 2. Activision also reported that it sold 5.6 million copies of the first-person shooter in North America and the U.K. on launch day. Last year, Modern Warfare 2 tallied unit sales of 4.7 million copies on its first day of availability.

Going forward, Activision expects to continue to set records. The company's CEO, Bobby Kotick, said that Call of Duty: Black Ops should break Modern Warfare 2's five-day sales record of $550 million, as well.

The success of Black Ops on launch day likely won't surprise those who have been following the hype surrounding the game. Activision made it clear recently that it was already seeing preorders for the game trump those of Modern Warfare 2.

However, calling a game release the "biggest entertainment launch" can be viewed by some as unfair to the film industry. The average video game retails for around $60 per unit. On the day a movie opens at theaters, patrons are usually paying around $10 per ticket. When gross revenue is the benchmark to judge both industries, the film business is at a major disadvantage.

Regardless, that shouldn't take away from the feat that Activision has accomplished once again with its Call of Duty franchise. Even with a different developer in Treyarch, the franchise has once again cemented its position atop the gaming industry.