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Call of Duty: Black Ops sets sales record of $360 million

Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty franchise continues to shine at retail. Despite lukewarm reviews, Call of Duty: Black Ops had the best first-day sales of any video game, ever. The game posted sales of $360 million in North America and the U.K., beating out the previous champion, last year’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, by $50 million. At an average of $60 per copy, the game has sold somewhere between 5 and 6 million units. The title was released for the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, PC, and DS at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

The Call of Duty franchise continues to build in sales. Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.6 million units in its first 24 hours and went on to top more than 20 million units and $3 billion in sales, making it one of the best-selling video games of all time. A year later, the release of Black Ops on Nov. 9 was so hyped that Jeep made a commemorative vehicle for the game and robbers in Maryland stole 100 copies of the game a couple nights before launch.

Astounding numbers

Likely to top a billion dollars in sales before the end of the year, the game is bigger than any movie release outside of Avatar. Even James Cameron’s film only grossed $2.8 billion at the box office, a figure that Modern Warfare 2 already surpassed. To be fair, however, a movie ticket costs $8 to $10 while a video game costs about $60.

Have you picked up Black Ops? Do you prefer it to Modern Warfare 2? We’ve been having a blast with the multiplayer. Our own Ryan Fleming favored the game in his review. “Call of Duty: Black Ops lives up to the hype — at least as any game that has ads with Kobe Bryant, custom Jeeps worth $35,000, and a fanbase in the millions could,” writes Fleming. “It builds on what worked with all the previous entries, Treyarch and Infinity Ward alike, and gives enough to be fresh, while retaining the core elements and keeping itself familiar.”

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