Modern Warfare 3 earned $1 billion in revenue in 16 days

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Activision’s latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise has managed to generate over $1 billion in revenue in just 16 days. Doing so in just over two weeks makes the game the fastest entertainment property to reach that milestone.

The timing is significant as Modern Warfare 3 was able to set a new record without the assistance of Black Friday in the US. Microsoft was able to sell nearly 1 million Xbox 360 consoles during the week of Black Friday which likely indicates that the video game industry will do rather well this holiday season.

“Call of Duty has become that rare entertainment franchise that transcends its own genre. Core gamers love it, as our stellar reviews show. But every year, new people are drawn into Call of Duty,”  said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “And while the franchise continues to set records, our fans still seem to want more, demonstrated by our record setting start on Call of Duty Elite. We are committed to helping everyone connect, compete and improve their game, Call of Duty style.”

Just a few days after the November 8 launch it was announced that the game had become the biggest entertainment launch of all time, beating the previous record set by its predecessor Black Ops a year ago. Modern Warfare 3 brought in over $400 million in revenue in 24 hours, selling 6.5 million copies in the US and UK. In comparison, it took Modern Warfare 2 over two months to generate $1 billion in sales.

It’s important to point out that while these sales figures are impressive, we must remember that a video game cost $60 on average while an average movie ticket is roughly $15. In terms of sheer dollars, it’s not unimaginable for a video game to earn more revenue than a blockbuster movie in a shorter time. In 2009, “Avatar” earned $1 billion in 17 days after opening in theaters.

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