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NPD: Black Ops is the best-selling game in U.S. history

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Call of Duty: Black Ops

Well, that didn't take long.

According to new figures released Thursday by sales tracking firm the NPD Group, Activision's first-person blockbuster Call of Duty: Black Ops is now the best-selling video game ever released in the U.S.

"Call of Duty: Black Ops was the best-selling game in February, retaining the top selling spot since launch in November. It has now become the best-selling game in history, topping Wii Play," said the NPD's Anita Frazier.

Activision has yet to formally release their own Black Ops tally, but NPD puts it at 13.7 million copies sold in the U.S. (although since NPD doesn't count Wal-Mart sales, that's likely a bit low). That indeed surpasses Nintendo's Wii Play, which has sold just over 13 million copies in the States since its release in February of 2007. For Black Ops to top that number in a mere four months is, in a word, staggering.

But it's not entirely surprising.

The game smashed launch day sale records by earning over $360 million in its first 24 hours of availability. Four days later that number would swell to $650 million, setting the five-day entertainment sales record, too. Roughly one month later it passed $1 billion, rivaled only by the 3D spectacle Avatar as the fastest to reach that mark.

So where does Black Ops stack up worldwide? No word on that yet, though the current worldwide record holder is Wii Sports, which at last count has sold over 75 million copies across all regions. Some will argue that the figure is a bit loaded, however, since the game has been sold primarily as a pack-in title with the Wii console itself (that can be applied to Wii Play as well; its sales have been unquestionably bolstered by being bundled with a Wii Remote.) However, unlike both Wii Sports and Wii Play, Black Ops has been released on multiple systems, giving it a distinct sales advantage over console-specific exclusives.

February wasn't just a big month for Call of Duty. Overall game sales were the strongest they've been in years, with revenues up 4 percent year-over-year.

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