Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has smashed franchise records, selling over 10 million copies globally in its first 10 days according to Activision. This makes it the fastest selling Call of Duty title ever, outperforming all previous franchise releases.
Launch Sales Top $800 Million
Within 3 days of its October 28th release, Modern Warfare 2 generated over $800 million in worldwide revenue. This figure surpassed the previous franchise record of $775 million set by 2011‘s Modern Warfare 3 over its first 5 days.
First Month Sales Estimated at 10-15 Million Units
While concrete sales data has not been provided, early estimates based on physical disc sales and digital download figures from past franchise entries put Modern Warfare 2‘s first month unit sales between 10-15 million copies globally.
UK Physical Launch Sales Up 40% Over Vanguard
In the crucial UK market, Modern Warfare 2 topped the physical sales charts with launch sales up 40% compared to 2021‘s Vanguard entry. This demonstrates the enduring appeal of the Modern Warfare brand in key regions.
Digital Sales Likely Over 50% of Total
Digital formats now account for over half of Activision‘s net bookings. So with physical launch sales estimated at 5.1-5.6 million units, total early sales are likely in the 10-15 million range when accounting for digital purchase channels.
Opening Weekend Beats Top Movies
The $800 million+ opening weekend revenue exceeded the global box office launches for 2022‘s biggest films including Top Gun: Maverick ($785 million) and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($450 million). This demonstrates Call of Duty‘s entertainment industry dominance.
Strong Critical Reception
Reviews have been mostly positive with a 86/100 average on Metacritic. Critics praised the thrilling campaign, excellent gunplay mechanics and gorgeous graphics powered by a new engine. Some knocks were on the map design and multiplayer perk system.
Player Retention Ahead of Vanguard
Player retention has also been strong, with daily active users and playtime per player tracking ahead of last year‘s Vanguard. This indicates solid buzz driving engagement despite competition from God of War Ragnarok.
Warzone 2.0 Boosting Interest
The new free-to-play Warzone 2.0 battle royale has had over 25 million players in its first week. This is providing a significant boost to Modern Warfare 2 interest by offering a free access point.
Factors Behind Modern Warfare 2‘s Success
Several key factors have contributed to the breakout commercial performance of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2:
- Brand Power – Modern Warfare is the most popular Call of Duty sub-series, with the 2019 reboot selling over 30 million copies.
- Marketing Blitz – Trailers and reveals generated significant hype over many months.
- Warzone Integration – Ties into the popular free-to-play experience expand the audience.
- Fresh Gameplay – New features like water combat and AI squadmates appealed to players.
- Excellent Reviews – Critics praised the campaign, gunplay, graphics and engine.
Sales Analysis by Platform
Here is a breakdown of estimated Modern Warfare 2 launch period sales by platform, based on franchise sales history:
|Estimated % of Sales
|Estimated Units Sold
|2.5 – 3.75 million
|2 – 3 million
|Xbox Series X/S
|2 – 3 million
|1.5 – 2.25 million
|2 – 3 million
The new-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S platforms now make up a significant portion of sales. But strong continued demand from the previous console generation demonstrates the accessibility of Call of Duty across multiple hardware generations.
How Activision Stock Has Reacted
On the back of Modern Warfare 2‘s strong early sales, Activision Blizzard‘s share price rose over 6% to reach near all-time highs in November 2022. The company‘s strong performance is a boon for Microsoft‘s pending $69 billion acquisition deal.
Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has stated that Modern Warfare 2 is the company‘s most successful launch ever. With Call of Duty delivering such massive revenues, it highlights the franchise‘s importance to Activision‘s yearly performance.
Outlook for Rest of 2022 and Beyond
Given the breakout commercial reception for Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty is primed for another dominant year among 2022 game releases. The series is a near-annual lock for the best seller spot in most regions, outpacing rivals like FIFA, Elden Ring and God of War Ragnarok.
Ongoing post-launch support with new multiplayer maps, modes and cosmetics will bolster sales over time. Warzone 2.0 provides a valuable engagement bridge between each yearly release. The franchise seems poised to continue its reign as king of the shooter genre.
However, there are challenges on the horizon. Complaints about buggy gameplay, lack of maps and a disjointed progression system need to be addressed to sustain long-term momentum past the initial launch window.
With Treyarch‘s next Call of Duty in 2024 rumored to continue the Modern Warfare reboot continuity, expectations will be high to build successfully on Infinity Ward‘s accomplishments this year. But Call of Duty has proven its enduring appeal time and again, so another big commercial result seems likely.