Activision leaps into Modern Warfare 2 sales figure fight

As Grand Theft Auto IV's loses day-one sales crown

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The publisher of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has waded into the conflict surrounding the game’s day-one sales, claiming that 4.2m copies of the videogame were shifted within 24 hours.

The title notched up “sell-though sales” of $130m in the UK and North America combined during its first 24 hours of availability, according to "internal Activision estimates" – rather than hard sales figures from retailers, you'll note - the company claimed.

If Activision’s unit and sell-though sales figures are correct then MW2 has raised the bar for day-one sales of a videogame. The previous record was set by Grand Theft Auto IV, which sold 3.7m copies within its first 24 hours.

Market watcher GfK Chart-Track was the first market watcher to publically estimate MW2’s day-one UK sales figure. The game shifted 1.23m copies here, it said.

Broadpoint AmTech analyst Ben Schachter later extrapolated from Chart-Track’s figures to conclude that a whopping 7m copies of MW2 had been sold globally on day one alone. However, a rival analyst, Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter called that global figure into question, suggesting that the 7m total was wide of the mark.

Dorian Bloch, Director of Chart-Track, subsequently said that he is confident that his firm’s 1.23m MW2 UK sales figure is accurate since it based on direct electronic point-of-sale data.

How will these pundits respond to Activision's entry into the debate? We shall see, but one thing is clear: Modern Warfare 2 has shifted a sh**load of copies and the game’s fans will be waking up with sore thumbs this morning.

Apart from some who ordered their game from Play.com. But that's another story... ®

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