Modern Warfare 2 pulls $310m on day one in US and UK

Activision claims that Modern Warfare 2 sold $310m on its first day would shatter day-one entertainment sales records

Activision says Modern Warfare 2 raked in an astonishing $310m on its first day of sales, a claim which, if accurate, would make it the biggest and fastest selling entertainment launch in history, annihilating sales records in every other medium.

The company estimates Modern Warfare 2 sold an unprecedented 4.7m units between the United States and UK during its initial 24 hour run. Yesterday GfK Chart-Track revealed first-day sales in the UK were 1.23m units, which would make put the number sold in the US at just shy of 3.5m. The UK number was roughly double the previous UK record-holder, Grand Theft Auto IV, which sold about 631k units.

Rockstar's sandbox crime-sprawl sold an estimated 3.6 million copies worldwide during its first 24 hours. Modern Warfare 2's 4.7m units only account for the US and UK, so expect that figure to climb as other territories weigh in.

Modern Warfare 2 launched on Tuesday with some 10,000 retail outlets in the US holding midnight release parties to accommodate consume demand.

"The Call of Duty franchise has become a cultural phenomenon showing the power of video games as an entertainment medium," said Activision publishing CEO Mike Griffith in a press statement.

"The shattering of these entertainment records is a testament to the compelling, cinematic and uniquely engaging experience that the Call of Duty brand delivers. Modern Warfare 2 has taken interactive experience to unprecedented heights setting a new standard for entertainment."

Some had suggested the game would surpass The Dark Knight's film record of $155 million during its opening weekend last year--not only has it surpassed the record in less than half that time, it's doubled it.

The game seems to be selling at or ahead of projected numbers despite--or perhaps because of--controversy over terrorist scenes, dedicated multiplayer servers, retail pricing, the PC version's inclusion of Steam DRM, and a time-delayed online version release.

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Matt Peckham

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