Activision’s Call of Duty Hits $1 Billion in Sales in 16 Days

Sales of Activision’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has surpassed $1 billion in sales in only two weeks and two days.

At that rate, the Santa Monica, Calif.-based company says it has eclipsed sales of the blockbuster movie “Avatar,” which took 17 days to gross seven figures.

The bloody first-person shooter, which operates across all consoles and on the PC, went on sale Nov. 8.

The game took only five days to gross $775 million and to shatter all entertainment sales records, including movies, books and videogames.

For perspective, Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3, which is going head to head against Activision’s Call of Duty this season, has sold eight million copies of the game, according to Game Informer. EA hasn’t disclosed total sales figures.

Additionally, NPD expects strong sales of Call of Duty to break videogame records for the month of November.

Activision says the Call of Duty community has more than 30 million gamers, putting the franchise on the scale of other entertainment megafranchises, like “Harry Potter,” “Star Wars” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

The $60 game is accompanied by Call of Duty Elite, an online component that allows players to compete against each other for a chance to win prizes. Activision says six million players have already registered for the free or premium plans, with more than one million paying for access that costs $50.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik