Activision announced Wednesday that the latest game in the Call of Duty franchise has hit the $1 billion sales mark after just 15 days on store shelves. That's one day faster than last year's Modern Warfare 3, and two days faster than 2009's "Avatar."
It's the second coup for Black Ops II. The game earned over $500 million in its first 24 hours, setting yet another entertainment sales record. Activision, not surprisingly, is pretty thrilled.
"The release of Call of Duty has been one of the most significant entertainment events of each of the last six years," said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. "Since Call of Duty was launched, cumulative franchise revenues from players around the world are greater than current worldwide box office receipts to date for the top-10 grossing films of 2012 combined. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for 'Harry Potter' and 'Star Wars,' the two most successful movie franchises of all time."
While it's certainly impressive, there are a few caveats to Black Ops II's accomplishment. Three different versions of the game are available for purchase, with the most expensive costing $179. That's $80 more than the premium version of Modern Warfare 3. Activision did not break down how the game's different versions sold.
Despite the hefty mark, analysts are growing concerned over what they believe is a fast-than-usual drop off in Black Ops II sales.
"We believe unit sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops II are tracking down double digits year over year," said Arvind Bhatia of Sterne Agee & Leach. "The current sales curve suggests CoD: Black Ops II unit sales in its first year could ultimately be down 10 percent to 15 percent year over year. If we are right, this would be the second year in a row this critical franchise will have seen units decline."
One thing that's not in dispute is the game's popularity. Activision reports that Black Ops II players have logged more than 150 million hours playing online on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network since launch. That works out to more than 17,000 years of gaming.
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