Activision's 'Black Ops' First-Day Game Sales Set $360 Mln Record

Figure marks single-day sales record for any entertainment release

NEW YORK - Activision Blizzard brought in $360 million in first-day sales in North America and the U.K. for its Call of Duty: Black Ops video game release Tuesday, COO Thomas Tippl said here Thursday.

The figure sets a new single-day sales record for any entertainment release, not just in gaming.

It beats the $310 million that the company's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 reached last year in its first 24 hours. The company said it sold an estimated 5.6 million copies of the new game within the first 24 hours on the market, compared to 4.7 million for the game last year.

Movie blockbusters often end up making more than big game hits, but the latter tend to draw higher initial revenue.
Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time, made $72 million in the U.S. and $242 million, during its opening weekend before crossing the $2 billion mark after 45 days.

"There has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records for two consecutive years and we are on track to outperform last year's five-day global sales record of $550 million," said Activision CEO Bobby Kotick. "The game's success underscores the pop culture appeal of the brand."

The Black Ops success comes ahead of the key holiday season and late in a year that has seen the gaming industry struggle, with only select months managing to produce a sales gain over the year-ago period.

Research firm NPD Group is planning to release October sales figures late Tuesday. Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter predicts a 3% video game software sales decline for that month to $555 million.

How about November? "Black Ops definitely helps November," said Pachter, but argued that Microsoft's hands-free controller Kinect, which is classified as a games accessory, will attract a lot of spending during the final part of the year. "So it will be close."