Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Has Set A Massive Record

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 became the biggest launch in franchise history, bringing in $800 million in sales in just three days' time.

By Jason Collins | Published

Activision just announced that the recently released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 enjoyed the most lucrative launch in the history of the franchise, generating $800 million in just three days after it hit the markets. These are massive numbers, and the new title has officially surpassed the previous franchise sales records set by MW3 in 2014. Things are looking good for Activision at the moment and for Microsoft as well if their acquisition deal follows through after the insider trading scandal.

According to IGN, these numbers aren’t actually that surprising, considering the franchise’s history and its cultural impact on modern gaming. What’s interesting is the speed at which it has happened. Generating $800 million in only three days following its release is a massive success that only attests to the franchise’s prominence in the FPS genre, as well as the world of gaming. Not to mention that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 managed to supersede the $775 million earned across five days record that was previously set by the aforementioned MW3.

call of duty: modern warfare 2

Johanna Faries, the Call of Duty general manager, thanked the players for making the game’s launch a historical moment that both count as the highest-grossing entertainment opening of the year — though we’re not actually sure it relates to the entire entertainment industry — and the entry for the record books. She also added that, despite a very successful opening, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 still has plenty of things to offer to players — crossplay toggle not included — like massive support for the entire Call of Duty franchise and the second Warzone game that’s due soon.

Now for the numbers crunch. The release of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was, indeed, one of the highest-grossing openings this year. However, things aren’t always as they appear, especially coming from a company that’s as controversial as Activision Blizzard King; you really have to consider every little detail and look for context in everything they say publicly. Regardless of how successful the launch was, and by all accounts, it’s the franchise’s most successful launch, and the new title is still one of the most successful launches in gaming overall.

The #1 title actually belongs to GTA 5, which made $1 billion in just three days following its release. So, to put things in perspective, we’d say that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 takes second place. As for the “highest-grossing entertainment opening” claim, Activision is mixing apples and oranges here by comparing the initial release metrics of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 with the entire entertainment industry. And sure, the numbers check out. Top Gun Maverick is the highest-grossing film this year, and it only made $124 million during its opening weekend.

But Maverick made $124 million on $12 movie tickets, where Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 made its money on $70 digital copies of the game. Still, we can’t actually deny that the game made more money; even with the aforementioned factors in mind, MW2 proportionally earned more — and really constitutes the highest-grossing earning entertainment opening this year. If Activision charged their game as Paramount did Top Gun Maverick, MW2 would still go on to earn approx. $135 million.

This is an impressive feat for ABK and the franchise overall, and it speaks volumes about gaming as part of the entertainment industry. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released on October 28 this year for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.