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

By on December 12, 2011, 3:30 PM

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.




User Comments: 30

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Raswan Raswan said:

Just goes to show that if you spend enough on marketing, people will flock to buy any old pos out there.

thewind said:

And yet somehow they wont spend money making a new game engine.... These are sad times we live in...

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

So many 12-17 year olds that have their parents buy this crap for them year after year makes me puke. BF3 on a high end PC owns this garbage all day. I wouldnt let someone pay me to play that.

Guest said:

Next week: Waa waaa waaa.. Pirates cutting into MW3 profits.

Tizzlejack Tizzlejack said:

So I guess this means they'll be making another one...

Emin3nce said:

Tizzlejack said:

So I guess this means they'll be making another one...

Unfortunately, yes.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

When I tell my friend the game is rehashed with nothing major added just few fixes, he goes hardcore defending, that its not the same and still a damn good game.

People blinded by their purple fanboy shades ....

Lets hope for the next release to be.. something more...

Guest said:

Mediocre relic of a game engine still generates massive revenue thanks to a hype machine that is head and shoulders above the rest. Imagine an actually quality product like BF3 driven by marketing even half as effective.

zillion said:

Guest said:

Mediocre relic of a game engine still generates massive revenue thanks to a hype machine that is head and shoulders above the rest. Imagine an actually quality product like BF3 driven by marketing even half as effective.

Didnt bf3 recieve a +2gb patch?

...Just asking because for me it wouldnt qualify as a quality product atleast until after that patch, no?

treetops treetops said:

Even with a new game engine you can only do so much on 6 year old consoles.

Guest said:

Pirates, Pirates, Pirates

It would have been 50X that if it were for those damn Pirates I tell ya LOL, well thats what we'll hear next week.

But realistically if it wasent 60 bucks I bet they would have made even more.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

zillion said:

Guest said:

Mediocre relic of a game engine still generates massive revenue thanks to a hype machine that is head and shoulders above the rest. Imagine an actually quality product like BF3 driven by marketing even half as effective.

Didnt bf3 recieve a +2gb patch?

...Just asking because for me it wouldnt qualify as a quality product atleast until after that patch, no?

They actually bother fixing the game. Games are ongoing process of developing if you want to make it as good as possible.

Your point being?

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I was explaining to a few people that MW3 is litterally just an over-hyped map pack for MW/MW2 and they totoally agree with me, however all there friends have bought the game already so they feel obliged to do so as well :/

However the COD series suck so hard right now this really isn't "news" just proof that people really will spend money on something they already own but with a higher number on the end...

I bet the CEO at activision is laughing

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

...and than gaming died...

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

May I add, of course profits are going to be sky high, they spent £200,000 on advertising and £10,000 making the game (needed to get at least one artist in to change a few lighting effects and get the coloring of the number 3 correct) So of course the profits are going to be high, If they had sold about 60,000 copies they'd be absolutely rolling in it, let alone the rather high number of 6.5 million.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

It's the same game as the last 3.

I'll get it on Steam in 2 months for $15.

ramonsterns said:

I wish the videogame industry would just die.

I really do.

amstech said:

It's the same game as the last 3.

I'll get it on Steam in 2 months for $15.

I think you mean 2 years, because that's how long it took for MW2 to finally go that low on Steam.

Guest said:

Here we go, MW3 sucks this, MW3 sucks that..... Everything that gets successful people verbally destroy. So your telling me with $1 Billion generated in revenue, that those millions who bought the game are pretty much stupid? so the 7 million people who bought the game soley to be entertained have no idea what they are doing? IM GETTING TIRED OF PEOPLE BASHING THE GAME. So who cares they use the same graphics engine, so did Assassins Creed for all four of their games, but nobody said a damn word. Arkham Asylum and Arkham City both used the same graphics engine, still nobody said a damn word. No! everybody thinks they KNOW everything when it comes to video games...do you think Activision really gives a **** what a couple of nerds on a Tech website think about their game? HELL NO, they just made 1 Billion, and I give them a high five for it... I and millions others enjoy the COD games, and have since Call of Duty 2. You people get way to carried away, the game is a FPS game, its soley to entertain you, and I am entertained. What else do you want? The point of the game(s) is to shoot the other person, plain and simple, there is no other goal....really to shoot the other person. Its not a puzzle game or suspense game Nor is it a Hack and Slash game, its a damn FPS, get over yourselves.

Guest said:

Like I said, you can talk all that **** you want about MW3.. Did Battlefield 3 make $1 Billion Dollars in 16 days? NO! Did Battlefield 3 Win VGA Best Shooter of 2011? NO! It has taken Battlefield 3, 2 1/2 months to sell roughly 8 million copies, sure I will give them that.. But did it sell 6.5 million on the first day? NO! It took Battlefield 3 2 1/2 months to sell what MW3 did in 5 days. Sorry to crush your little dreams and aspirations about Battlefield 3, but its not as popular.... sorry

jeffz6 said:

Its because its easier to play and runs at higher fps. People dont seem to care for detail. It looks pretty so it must be good. I play BF3 over MW3.

Not to mention theres little choice for games right now, christmas is here after all.

ramonsterns said:

Guest said:

So your telling me with $1 Billion generated in revenue, that those millions who bought the game are pretty much stupid?

Millions of people buy cigarettes, doesn't mean it's good for you or at all enjoyable. They smoke cigarettes because they have an addiction to feed and if they don't do it they end up feeling god-awful.

So yes, anyone who still buys Call of Duty games or Cigarettes, are stupid.

Also, being oblivious to the mediocrity you surround yourself in is not something to be proud of.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Millions of people buy cigarettes, doesn't mean it's good for you or at all enjoyable. They smoke cigarettes because they have an addiction to feed and if they don't do it they end up feeling god-awful.

So yes, anyone who still buys Call of Duty games or Cigarettes, are stupid.

Also, being oblivious to the mediocrity you surround yourself in is not something to be proud of.

+1

Pet rocks,chia pets,Flowbee, mood rings, and Billy the Big Mouth Bass all sold extremely well.

Zecias said:

ramonsterns said:

Guest said:

So your telling me with $1 Billion generated in revenue, that those millions who bought the game are pretty much stupid?

Millions of people buy cigarettes, doesn't mean it's good for you or at all enjoyable. They smoke cigarettes because they have an addiction to feed and if they don't do it they end up feeling god-awful.

So yes, anyone who still buys Call of Duty games or Cigarettes, are stupid.

Also, being oblivious to the mediocrity you surround yourself in is not something to be proud of.

Religion is the perfect example of how billions of people can all be wrong.

Not trying to say that religion is or is not true, but if Christianity(or whatever other religion) is true, every non Christian is wrong and vice versa.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

zecias said:

ramonsterns said:

Guest said:

So your telling me with $1 Billion generated in revenue, that those millions who bought the game are pretty much stupid?

Millions of people buy cigarettes, doesn't mean it's good for you or at all enjoyable. They smoke cigarettes because they have an addiction to feed and if they don't do it they end up feeling god-awful.

So yes, anyone who still buys Call of Duty games or Cigarettes, are stupid.

Also, being oblivious to the mediocrity you surround yourself in is not something to be proud of.

Religion is the perfect example of how billions of people can all be wrong.

Not trying to say that religion is or is not true, but if Christianity(or whatever other religion) is true, every non Christian is wrong and vice versa.

I am not Religious, but Religion is not always about "oh yeah God exists, bow or u go to hell", some people find faith to keep driving them forward, so it helps their lives.

Lets not get into this though, id write a 100000 word essay for and against Religion.

okrings said:

Wow... lots of MW3 hateful passion going on here.

I don't have the game, so I can't really say much. I'll say this, though, if they made that much more new content for a game that I loved (like Resident Evil 5)... I wouldn't care much about the lack of a new game engine. If they had simply cut it all up and made into DLC for MW2, it would probably cost more than they're asking for the game.

ramonsterns said:

okrings said:

Wow... lots of MW3 hateful passion going on here.

I don't have the game, so I can't really say much. I'll say this, though, if they made that much more new content for a game that I loved (like Resident Evil 5)... I wouldn't care much about the lack of a new game engine. If they had simply cut it all up and made into DLC for MW2, it would probably cost more than they're asking for the game.

Except one pays for games so the developer would be willing to progress forward, not stagnate until it runs out of suckers to leech money from. Sadly, Activision can do that because their supply of mindless leeches doesn't seem to be dwindling.

All we're going to see is the MMO crash all over again, and in fact, it's already happening. There will be CoD clones everywhere, then complete utter failures, if they have an offline story mode, they will blame it on piracy, then the switch to an entirely different system because the original didn't work out for anyone but the original.

I really hate industries. "Hey guys, remember that blunder when we tried to copy something and it didn't work?" "Nope." "Me either, let's try it again.

Guest said:

And the hard work of reskinning maps/buildings and renaming MW3 and Black Ops to MW4 and BO2 has already begun ladies and gentlemen. Even now, the marketing drones are interviewing movie starts to star in their next biggest and baddest COD commercial.

Who needs innovative game design when you can just resell the same game over and over? Activision is on to something here - EA has been doing annual releases of sports games for 2 decades!

It's interesting that the COD fans haven't stopped at MW1 and realized that the next 3 games were exactly the same, but yet proceeded to drop $180 ($60x3).

The sad part here is NOT that COD made $1 billion in 16 days, but that so many people actually enjoy buying the exact same game over and over and over.

Why would developers both to create games like Limbo and Braid and Super Meatboy when they can just re-badge the same crap?

Oh boy, when next generation of consoles launch, that's another 5-6 Call of Duty games......

Guest said:

good thing I paid $22 for this game which btw sucks mp is infested with aimbots only thing worth it is the survival mode in sp .

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Guest said:

good thing I paid $22 for this game which btw sucks mp is infested with aimbots only thing worth it is the survival mode in sp .

Lol you didn't notice that it got hacked the day it was released did you? I think I saw this on a video for one of the consoles also...

Guest said:

Im glad I didnt pay $60 for a map pack. Cod released 3 map packs for blackops i believe... now they took this **** to a whole new level......

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