Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), announced today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 crossed the $1 billion mark in sales since its launch on November 8, 2011, according to Charttrack and retail customer sell-through information. Highlighting the trend of interactive entertainment gaining a greater hold of audiences worldwide, the game achieved this milestone in just 16 days, eclipsing the record set in 2009 by the feature film “Avatar,” which reached the $1 billion milestone in 17 days.
While 2011 box office revenue is on the decline — down 4 percent this year at $9.4 billion, compared with $9.8 billion in 2010 — the number of people purchasing and participating in gaming is on the rise, with no sign of slowing. With more than 30 million gamers, the Call of Duty community now exceeds the combined populations of the cities of New York, London, Tokyo, Paris and Madrid.
“Engagement of our Call of Duty audience continues to rise around the world” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “Call of Duty as an entertainment franchise has made an indelible mark on popular culture and its broad and continued success is further validation that audiences increasingly value interactive experiences over passive experiences.
Call of Duty is now amongst that rarified group of sustained franchises like “Star Wars”, “Harry Potter”, “Lord of the Rings” and the National Football League that attract or engage tens of millions of people every year or every new release.