Modern Warfare 2 was in the UK to kick ass and drink tea, and apparently, the UK was all out of tea – MW2 smashed the single-day sales records by a staggering amount.

Yes, yes, we all know that CoD Mewtwo has more than its share of controversy surrounding the title, but that hasn’t stopped the game from being bigger than sliced bread. Here in the States, it was GameStop’s most pre-ordered game of all time, and while our tea-sipping cousins across the Atlantic might not like manly gunfights in real life as much as we do, they were still looking forward to MW2 quite a bit.

Okay, perhaps more than quite a bit: The Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) has announced that MW2‘s “astonishing” day-one performance has effortlessly set a new record for most copies of a game sold in a 24-hour period.

I don’t mean to simply say that “MW2 sold really well,” either. Not only did MW2 easily break the record set by Grand Theft Auto IV back in April ’08, as John Romero would say, it bent the record over and soundly made it its bitch. GTA4 sold an estimated 631,000 copies in 24 hours, which is certainly impressive, but Infinity Ward’s shooter fell the tiniest bit short of doubling it, selling 1.23 million units in just a day. Oh, and it earned an estimated £47 million ($78.3 million) in first-day sales.

“These first day sales figures are astonishing and clear evidence that video games are now mainstream in the UK,” said ELSPA’s Director General Michael Rawlinson. “…interactive entertainment has completely come of age.”

It’s such a feat that it’s almost hard to wrap my head around. GTA4 was huge, but MW2 sold twice as many copies in the same amount of time. It’s really, really mindboggling if you think about it too much – which I advise you not to.

Our UK readers will have to pardon me, as my Brit-slang is rusty: What’s British for “holy crap”?

(Via Joystiq)

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