'Call of Duty 2' passes $1 billion in revenue

Activision video game on track to become all-time best seller

Video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that the game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" has brought in more than $1 billion in revenue since it went on sale in November.

Given that pace, the title is on track to become the best-selling video game ever by number of copies sold, said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan.

Based on the revenue figure, Pachter said the company has probably shipped about 17 million copies of the game so far. And he expects it to surpass the roughly 23 million copies sold of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," the 2004 title that holds the record.

Still, Pachter said he doesn't expect Activision's fourth-quarter financial results to surpass expectations. "They're not killing it, but they're making it," he said.

While "Call of Duty" sales are "impressive," titles including "Guitar Hero" have been lackluster.

Others in the video game industry have given indications of weak holiday sales. Rival Electronic Arts this week slashed its 2009 earnings estimate for the second time. GameStop, the world's biggest video game retailer, said sales during the shopping season dropped 8.6% from the year before.

Activision shares rose 6 cents to $10.83 in afternoon trading Wednesday.
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