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8th July 2021

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Modern Warfare 3 sells 6.5 million day one in UK/US alone

Sequel breaks sales records again with over $400 million in revenues

Estimated day one sales of Modern Warfare 3, based on Charttrack and retailer figures, stand at 6.5 million units in the US and UK alone, raising $400 million in revenues.

The numbers make it the biggest entertainment launch of all time, beating the previous record held by Call of Duty: Black Ops which had an estimated day one revenue total in the territories of $360 million.

It's the third year in a row in which the series has broken all time entertainment sales records.

"We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories," said Bobby Kotick.

"Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. 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."

Alongside the announcement, Activision revealed that it had donated a further $3 million to the Call of Duty Endowment which Kotick set up in 2009, bringing the total to $5 million. The fund exists to provide training and employment to veterans of the US armed forces.

Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry

8th July 2021

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Latest comments (14)

Phil Elliott Project Lead, Collective; Head of Community (London), Square Enix9 years ago
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Mihai Cozma Indie Games Developer 9 years ago
Pure inertia, the game is not that good.
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Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
Iíve yet to play it; Iím not much of an online gamer and Iíve heard that the campaign really isnít up to much - I didnít buy BF3 for the same reason. I rented the last 4 CODs, so I may do the same here in coming weeks if I manage to make a significant dent in the likes of Ico Collection, Dark Souls, Hydrophobia, etc.
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Show all comments (14)
Graham Simpson Tea boy, Collins Stewart9 years ago
I think the single player is excellent and I am loving the multiplayer. But I would say that I am a shareholder.
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Richard DeBarry Programmer 9 years ago
Pretty much done with multiplayer. The maps are too small and every corner you turn there's some idiot laying down in a corner shooting at you. Going to play the campaign and then go back to BF3, might even go back to Blops.
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Bizarely, I found Uncharted 3s multiplayer really fun and good for short 15m stints at lunch, whilst BF3 is good for the weekend! With till christmas for Sky rimming fun!
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James Ingrams Writer 9 years ago
"Modern Warfare 3 sells 6.5 million day one in UK/US alone". This shows how the I.T/games media si not independent or professional.

Quite simply it just takes PR sheets and replicates them for us to read.

This number is shipments to retailers, not customer purchases. But Obviously Activision wants to word it to
make them look as good as can be and to hype the game.

The media helps them by reporting word for word how companies word their press releases, with no editorial at all.

With any highly hyped title like this, as a retailer, would you take 2 copies when you have full Sale or Return? Of course not, you'll order 25, what do you care if 20 go back?!

But Activision won't give us customer sales numbers, just like no other publishers does, and that's because there is zero pressure from the media to make them do so!

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 9 years ago
I enjoyed the U3 beta, but after finishing the campaign over 9-odd hours on Hard, I wanted a break from that game for a while. I intend to play some co-op and competitive multiplayer this weekend though, and don't really feel the need for any other MP games right now.

Plus, trying to get over the wall that is Dark Souls is so time- and energy-consuming, I don't have spare gaming time for frivolities such as multiplayer at the moment.
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Private VIdeo Games 9 years ago
The game is kick ass, I'm loving it!

Another solid release with nice reviews and epic sales - hat off to Mr Kotick!
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 9 years ago

As Activision does not do B2C sales and only B2B why would they state it as anything else?
As for them not giving actual retail numbers, ever think that they dont have them?
How much value is it for a publisher to know how many of title X sold from Chain A?

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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
This is saying it is based on Chart Track which is a B2C tracking firm. This figure did not come from Activision.
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@James: if you read the article, it implies this is an estimate - and is actually sell-through to consumers, not shipped. Shipped units could be 15-20m worldwide (we'll find out eventually, unless they only release a $ figure). This constrasts to the Uncharted 3 figure, which came directly from Sony.
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Rob Fahey Columnist, GamesIndustry.biz9 years ago
For a game like MW3, the gap between shipped and sell-through in early figures is extremely close anyway, which renders that aspect of the debate almost moot. A huge proportion of the first shipment goes to satisfying pre-orders, therefore it automatically counts as sell-through, while a large number of retailers (even non-specialist) sell out in the first weekend, again meaning that their shipments translate directly to sell-through.

The shipment/sell-through distinction is often used to obfuscate, of course, but it's only really relevant when you've got a product that's sitting in the channel for a long time before selling, creating a major gap between shipped and sold. So, for example, the first year of the Wii saw an almost direct translation of shipped to sold, since shipments sold out as soon as they arrived; the first year of the PS3 is the counter-example, as units sat in the channel for significant periods and created a backlog. It's important to understand the distinction between those cases rather than just flatly denying the relevance of ALL shipment figures!
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The sales figures are still wildly inaccurate. Can anyone stomp up day one sales in US or UK, and week one sales respectively (its far too easy to combine for a larger number than actually shipped/sold)
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