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‘Modern Warfare 3′ tops Redbox rentals

Plugged In

Chalk up another bragging right for Modern Warfare 3.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Activision)

Fresh off becoming the fastest game to reach $1 billion, the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise has been named the year's top video game rental by film and game rental service Redbox, beating out dancers, zombies and Pixar.

Redbox only started game rentals in June, but jumped into the market in a big way, adding video games to 27,000 kiosks nationwide. The company says more than two-thirds of the country is within a five-minute drive of one of its kiosks, and customers have already rented more than 6 million games. That Modern Warfare 3, which has been out for just over a month, topped all other games is another testament to its popularity.

The Xbox 360 version of the game sits atop the Redbox rental list, while the PS3 version came in at number five. Another Call of Duty title -- Black Ops (the 360 version) -- took 9th place. Overall, in fact, six of the top 10 rentals were for Microsoft's console.

Ubisoft's Just Dance 3 for the Wii was the year's second most popular rental, with under-the-radar zombie hit Dead Island taking the bronze. The gaming tie-in to Cars 2 was the fourth most popular rental, underscoring the mass-market audience of Redbox.

The bottom half of the top 10 was an eclectic mix. Critical disappointment Brink shows up number six (likely due to a heavy media campaign from Bethesda), along with The Smurf's Dance Party (7th) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (10th).

The Xbox 360 version of Skyrim -- which has been racking up game of the year honors left and right in the past week -- was the year's eighth most popular rental. (And, to be fair, 24 hours with Skyrim isn't a lot of time. The game's designed to encourage purchases, rather than rentals.)

Game rentals via Redbox cost $2 per day, a premium over the company's $1 per day rate for DVDs and $1.50 for Blu-Rays. Games are available for the Wii, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. And while game publishers aren't always big fans of rentals, they've worked closely with Redbox, given that company's broad reach.

"The publishers are looking for new ways to make revenue," Joel Resnik, vice president of games for Redbox told Yahoo! Games as the service launched. "Adding games to the Redbox kiosks helps make discovery of their content easier in places they've never been before."

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