'Call of Duty' videogame sales top $1 bn in first day

November 6, 2013

Sales of the latest edition in the "Call of Duty" video game franchise topped $1 billion in the first day, the publisher said Wednesday.

"Call of Duty: Ghosts," which went on sale around the world on Tuesday, "has delivered yet another epic thrill ride in the campaign, and what I think is our best multiplayer game yet," said Eric Hirshberg, chief executive of Activision Publishing.

The $1 billion figure represented sales to retail store, which may not reflect consumer purchases, according to Activision.

But the company maintained the debut ensures that "Call of Duty" is "the largest console franchise of this generation."

Devotees of the decade-old military shooter series queued through the evening to buy "Call of Duty: Ghosts", which went on sale just after midnight Tuesday across the world.

The announcement came after "Grand Theft Auto V" raked in more than a billion dollars in consumer sales its first three days on the streets in September, according to Take-Two unit Rockstar games.

The latest "Call of Duty" sequel is set in a desolate United States devastated by a satellite-guided "kinetic" weapon strike on San Diego.

Compatible with smartphones and tablet computers, it promises new missions and extends online capabilities.

California-based Activision Publishing, which is owned by Activision Blizzard, has released "Ghosts" for play on PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii U and personal computers powered by Windows operating systems.

Versions of the game will later be available to use on new game consoles PS4 or Xbox One.

Videogame makers are in the tricky position of having to wow fans using PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 consoles as well as create versions that capitalize on new capabilities in next-generation hardware.

A new "Call of Duty" app will let players use smartphones or tablets to tweak in-game characters or squads, schedule team matches, and share accomplishments using social networks Facebook and Twitter.

"Ghosts" features include letting players essentially create their own characters and gear "load-outs" to the extent that entire squads of customized soldiers can be marshaled.

Activision said that since its release, "Call of Duty: Ghosts" has moved to the number one spot as the most played game on Xbox Live.

The was launched at 15,000 midnight openings around the world.

The launch comes a month after Activision became independent, with French conglomerate Vivendi selling most of its stake for $8.2 billion.

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