By Alexandra Burlacu | Nov 18, 2012 09:31 AM EST
The latest installment in the Call of Duty (CoD) franchise, Black Ops 2, grossed a whopping $500 million in its first 24 hours since launch.
With impressive worldwide sales, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has shattered the record for the biggest first-day gross in videogame history. The previous record holder was the Modern Warfare 3 installment of the lucrative Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 raked in more than $400 million at launch in 2011.
"With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick said in a statement announcing the achievement.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 launched at midnight on Nov. 13. According to Activision, millions of eager fans attended more than 16,000 midnight openings at retail stores worldwide to get their hands on the latest installment. Black Ops 2 was also a trending topic on Twitter in 23 cities worldwide in its first 24 hours since launch, and the game's official launch trailer has generated more than 31 million views on YouTube since its release on Oct. 29.
"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," boasted Kotick. "Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013."
The early sales figures, however, are not surprising. Amazon revealed back in May that the single-day pre-orders for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 were three times higher than the one-day pre-order total for the previous installment, Call of Duty: Black Ops.
According to Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, Call of Duty is more than just a game, it is a brand.
"Call of Duty has become more than a product people buy, it's a brand people buy into. And every November we do more than just the launch of a game, we kick off an annual, unofficial but worldwide phenomenon called the Call of Duty season," explained Hirshberg.
Penned by The Dark Knight creator David Goyer, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 takes place in the year 2025, where a terrorist organization takes control of the United States' high-tech, unmanned war machines. The futuristic setting gives gamers the chance to play with new weapons and new technology, and the game is praised as an interactive action movie game with one of the best told stories in video games.