"Call of Duty: Black Ops" brought in $360 million in sales during the first 24 hours of its release, setting a record for video game sales at a time when the industry is slumping.
The latest version of the popular franchise easily beat its predecessor and previous record-holder, "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," which racked up $310 million in day-one sales, publisher Activision Publishing said Thursday. The sales figures for both games are for North America and the United Kingdom only.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops" marks the second consecutive year that the franchise has set a day-one launch record. Released Nov. 9, retailers sold 5.6 million copies of the game in the first 24 hours. In addition, an unprecedented 12,000 retailers held midnight openings to meet demand among got-to-have-it-first fans.
Bobby Kotick, chief executive of parent Activision Blizzard, said in a statement that the video game is on track to beat last year's five-day global sales record of $550 million for "Modern Warfare 2." More than 25 million gamers play some version of "Call of Duty," connecting with each other through the game's online component.
"Call of Duty" is available for PCs and all the major video game consoles, including the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Nintendo Wii. The game, first released in October 2003, is also available on handheld consoles, the Apple iPhone and Resarch in Motion's BlackBerry.
The success of "Black Ops" is good news for the video game industry, since software sales help to drive console sales. In September, overall sales of the industry at physical retail stores was down 8% year over year, which followed a 10% drop in August. However, sales for the rest of the year are expected to improve, given the scheduled release of popular games and the release of the Kinect and the Move, motion-sensing add-ons for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, respectively.