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“Call of Duty: Black Ops” sets record for Activision

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Activision Blizzard Inc has raked in more
than $1 billion in worldwide sales of Call of Duty: Black Ops (Buy | Search), the
latest installment of the U.S. game publisher's most successful
franchise.

That performance built on the previous benchmark of $650 million of
sales in the game's first five days, which set a five-day global record
for a movie, book or videogame, the company said.

"In all of entertainment, only 'Call of Duty' and 'Avatar' have ever
achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly," Activision
Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said in a statement, referring to
the blockbuster alien epic helmed by James Cameron.

[Related: Black Ops sets another one-day record]

Wall Street's expectations run high for Activision's holiday quarter,
based also on the company's latest World of Warcraft (Buy | Search) installment.

But sales in the $50 billion U.S. video game industry -- which has been
slow to bounce back from the recession -- are down 5 percent for the
year to November 30.

Despite a strong November, research group NPD estimates that overall
sales of gaming hardware and software for 2010 are likely to range from
$18.8 billion to $19.6 billion, the top of which would be roughly flat
with last year.

(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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