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Modern Warfare 2 achieves Guinness World Record

Call of Duty title officially the biggest entertainment launch of all time

Guinness World Records have stated that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is officially the most successful entertainment launch of all time, with first day sales of more than $401.6 million (£242.4m).

Launched on November 10, the Activision-published first person shooter broke the $310 million (£159m) record previously held by Take-Two's Grand Theft Auto IV.

The third most successful launch was Microsoft's Halo 3, which generated revenues of $170 million (£84m) in its first 24 hours.

The record takes into account box office film receipts, book and music sales and yet the top three launches are all videogames - in large part due to the higher retail costs involved.

Unlike the limited audience of mature-rated films, both the top-selling videogames have an 18+ age rating, while Halo 3 is rated 15+. Although many family-friendly Nintendo games have sold in similar or greater numbers overall, their sales have always tended to be less front-loaded than more core titles.

"Videogame 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," said Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition editor Gaz Deaves.

"The fan movement and hype surrounding this game in the run-up to launch was almost unprecedented in scale; we acknowledged early on that the big question wasn't if it would break all-time entertainment records, but rather by how much."

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Latest comments (5)

CaseyB Artist, Digital Extremes6 years ago
Is a games success measured by how innovative the tittle was? What about the metacrtic score? Or is it by sales numbers via the consumers voting with their dollars? Will a higher metacritic get you more sales?

All that money coming down from above has to return with interest, and they don't take metacritic or innovation as currency.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by CaseyB on 21st April 2010 4:45pm

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Jan Almqvist Senior Artist, Electronic Arts6 years ago
"Launch success" is really a stupid and unfair comparison and it takes pre-orders into consideration as well. Big movie premieers cannot even facilitate everybody who would like to see it day 1.
If everybody who wanted to see Avatar day 1 had been able to, things would look different.

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Josh Freeman Studying Computer Science, University of Huddersfield6 years ago
The use of: "most successful entertainment launch of all time" should be changed to "Most Revenue in 24 hours", because in my opinion a games success is not by how many digits it brings in, but by its scores and quality. It did not get the the best scores as said by Casey.
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Show all comments (5)
Well, sure the games has its flaws, but we can't deny the fact that lots and lots of people are still having a blast with it. So hype or no, I think it deserves this world record
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Brian Luciano Studying Game Art and Design, Westwood College6 years ago
I read somewhere (g4 I think) that MWII also beat every game out there for "most online play". Basically, as far as online goes, MWII has more online players playing consistently. It supposedly even beat out all the Halo games. That at least has to say something about it.
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