Modern Warfare 2 joins Avatar film with $1 billion in sales revenue


The £120 special edition of Modern Warfare 2 included real night-vision goggles. | Photo: Activision Blizzard

Computer game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2” from Activision Blizzard is one of the most successful games of 2009, as it exceeded $1 billion (£615m) worth of sales worldwide.

The game’s success has shown the growth of the video games market. The figure comes just days after James Cameron’s new film Avatar cashed in $1 billion in three weeks, becoming the fastest-grossing movie of all time.

In the UK alone, £1.73 billion was spent on games in the 12 months up to September 2009, compared to £1.2 billion on films (including both cinema and home releases), according to figures compiled by the Daily Telegraph.

“Modern Warfare 2”, released in November last year, is estimated to have sold over 15m copies since the launch, despite controversy surrounding a mission in which the player takes part in a terrorist attack.

Sales of the game eclipsed previous first day records in the UK as it doubled the sales of “Grand Theft Auto IV” and topped Amazon UK’s best-sellers chart of 2009, becoming the first video game to do so.

The game is also reported to be the most pirated video game of the year. Figures released by TorrentFreak estimate that 5m copies of the game have been illegally downloaded, with approximately four out of five people picking the PC version of the game.

Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard says: “There are only a handful of entertainment properties that have ever reached the $1 billion mark, which illustrates the power of the Call of Duty franchise and mass appeal of this game.”

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