Money Matters - Simplified

Modern Warfare 2 on a record breaking spree

Activision claims that the MW2 has raked in $550 million during the first five days, thus setting another record

New York, November 19 -- Activision had definitely anticipated registering strong sales for Modern Warfare 2, but did it expect the game to become the best seller? Whether expected or not, the latest soldiers from Infinity Ward have broken all records in the entertainment industry.

It seems Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (MW) 2 is insulated from recessionary trends that have otherwise weighed heavy on consumer demand. Though MW was released on Nov. 10, demand was so high that retailers had to schedule midnight sales, days before the official launch.

MW 2 smashes all entertainment records
Within 24 hours of its launch, MW2 had sold 4.7 million units in North America and United Kingdom alone, generating approximately $310 million and thus breaking the supposedly unbreakable first-day sales record of $310 million globally set by Grand Theft Auto IV (GTAIV) in May last year.

Almost a week after the launch, Activision has again divulged more sales statistics. The publisher claims that the MW2 has raked in $550 million during the first five days, thus setting another record.

MW2 has not only smashed GTAIV 24 hour sales records of 3.6 million units, but also eclipsed its five-day global record of $500 million from approximately 6 million units sold.

Considering other sources of entertainment, the Activision blockbuster has broken Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince’s five day record of $394 million at the box office as well.

Other than this, it has also busted The Dark Knight's $203.8 million for the same period.

Success came at a cost
Though it might seem that the shooters from MW2 are on a record breaking spree, Activision says that its success did not come cheap.

The company had spent almost three times as much on marketing as on developing the game. The actual cost of the game was between $40 million and $50 million, but the worldwide marketing expenses, which included ads and trailers designed by top advertising companies, hiked the final price to around $200.

Activision Blizzard Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick was quoted by as saying, “My goal was to create a launch that would compare very favorably to the biggest box offices of all time.”

Industry gets much required turnaround
The industry has witnessed a continuous decline in sales for the seventh straight month. Market research company NPD has recently revealed data according to which the sales have plunged 19 percent in October.

But MW2 has indeed given the video game industry the much required boost and the industry is expected to post strong numbers for the November period.

Analysts are expecting Activision to sell at least more than 12 million copies by the end of December.

NPD analyst Anita Frazier expects the industry to generate full-year revenues in the range of $20 billion to $21 billion in the nation, which would put it just a bit below last year's sales.