Grossing half a billion USD in less than a week, Modern Warfare 2 was the most successful entertainment release of all time, but it didn’t just set financial records – the blockbuster FPS shattered Xbox Live numbers as well.
Yes, yes, I know you’re tired of hearing about MW2 already, because we are too (and if you’re not, you’re probably playing MW2) but the damn thing keeps making news. While the title may not have sold quite as well as some predicted, Infinity Ward’s modern FPS took every record for entertainment launch and stomped them to little tiny bits, grossing $550m in the first five days of sales, as trumpeted in this press release from Activision.
Modern Warfare 2’s launch beat all previous first-and five-day entertainment industry box office, book and video game sell-through records*:
— The largest reported five-day opening worldwide box office gross figures, held by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($394 million)
— The largest reported five-day opening domestic box office gross figures, held by The Dark Knight ($203.8 million)
— The largest reported five-day worldwide video game sales record, previously held by Grand Theft Auto IV (6 million units, $500 million)
— The largest reported opening first-day domestic box office gross figures, held by The Dark Knight ($66.4 million)
— The largest reported first-day book sales in dollars, held by Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows ($220 million)
— The largest reported first-day worldwide video game sales record, previously held by Grand Theft Auto IV (3.6 million units, $310 million)
While these numbers are probably enough to help Bobby Kotick sleep well at night with visions of cash registers going ka-CHING in his head, it’s interesting to note that of the $550m Modern Warfare 2 grossed in five days, $310m of that was in its first 24 hours – a perfect example of the steep drop-off seen with most game releases.
Nor were all the records solely financial in nature, as the game set milestones on Xbox Live, and I don’t just mean the two million concurrent users, either. In one day, more than 2.2 million unique Xbox users logged more than 5.2 million multiplayer hours in Modern Warfare 2, and unlocked over 11 million Achievements. Good Golly, Miss Molly – these aren’t numbers to sneeze at. They aren’t numbers to shoot at, either.
There’s a pun in here somewhere about MW2 enticing gamers to spend more time with Soap than some of them have in the past year, but I’ll let you guys make that one yourselves.