Modern Warfare 2 biggest entertainment launch ever

Guinness World Records has confirmed that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's launch-day success is the best launch of any entertainment platform in history.

Don Reisinger
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

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has set the world record for the best launch day, in terms of U.S. dollars, in the history of the entertainment industry, Guinness World Records announced Wednesday.

Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2 now owns the top entertainment spot. Activision

According to Guinness, Modern Warfare 2 grossed $401.6 million in a single day when it launched on November 10. The game easily shattered Grand Theft Auto IV's previous record of $310 million in revenue on its launch day back in 2008. Halo 3, which tallied $170 million on its first day of availability, is the third-highest-grossing entertainment product of all time.

Although the top three spots in Guinness' entertainment roundup are held by games, it's worth nothing that the calculations include movies, as well.

"Video game releases such as the Call of Duty series have outperformed the launches of major Hollywood blockbusters for several years and the day-one sales for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 proved once again that video games have become cultural events in their own right," Gaz Deaves, Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition Editor, said in a statement.

Although the news that Modern Warfare 2 is the top-grossing entertainment title of all time isn't all that surprising, it's important to remember that Guinness' figures are based on gross revenues. Since games launch at about $60 per unit, while movies are substantially cheaper, it's admittedly much easier for a game to take the top spot than a film.

But that shouldn't take away from what gaming has achieved in recent years. Growing out of its niche beginnings, gaming is now a mainstream industry which, at least in the eyes of gamers, is just as important to the wider entertainment sector as films and music.