Last week Activision announced that Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops had broken the one day sales record set by Modern Warfare 2, leaving the world wondering when, not if, we'd get the word about the five day sales record, and the only real mystery was exactly how much it earned. The answer to "when?" is today, and to "how much?" is a whole lot.
While last year $550 in five days was good enough for a record, anyone wanting to claim the greatest five day period will have to match Black Ops new figure of $650 million. This has made it the best-selling video game launch of all time for both GameStop and Amazon.com. Adding to the record-breaking accolades, according to Microsoft's own internal data, more than 5.9 million multiplayer hours of Black Ops were logged by the end of launch day, and more than 2.6 million unique gamers played it on opening day.
For a franchise to deliver these kinds of sales numbers in two consecutive years is a hell of a feat, especially when you consider not only the state of the overall economy, but also the controversy that surrounded the very public break-up between Activision and MW2 developer Infinity Ward. None of this was lost on Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who used the sales number to take a shot at broadcast television, saying, "The title's success illustrates the mass appeal of interactive entertainment as millions of consumers are choosing to play [Black Ops] at unprecedented levels rather than engage in other forms of media."
One now can't help but wonder if the juggernaut of the Harry Potter franchise can match these kinds of numbers. With the next film releasing worldwide tomorrow, along with tie-in games for every system known to mankind, it's possible that EA and Warner Bros. may attempt to make such a claim.