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Call of Duty’s $500-million day sets sales records

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2’s main protagonist, David Mason, fights in the year 2025, where warfare has evolved to the point where fleets of robot drones march on the battlefield and buzz by in swarms overhead. Troops wear invisibility suits and guns can see through walls.

Activision

The latest "Call of Duty" videogame had sales of more than $500-million in the first 24 hours of its release, a new record, game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. said on Friday.

By comparison, Microsoft Corp's sci-fi action-shooter Halo 4, launched a week earlier, had sales of $220-million in its first day on the market.

In 2011, Activision reported first-day sales of about $400-million for its latest game at the time, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and sales of $1-billion after 16 days.

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Activision, the world's largest videogame publisher, raised its earnings outlook last week on expectations for strong holiday sales of its new Call of Duty: Black Ops II, saying it hoped it would beat previous Call of Duty records.

However, the company said on Friday that it remains cautious about the rest of 2012 and 2013.

As more gamers migrate from console gaming to mobile offerings on tablets and smartphones, the video game industry has seen revenues decline. The performance of high-profile titles like Call of Duty is being watched closely as a gauge of future demand for the sector.

Activision said it believes the new "Call of Duty" represents "the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row." It said millions of fans attended more than 16,000 midnight openings at retail stores worldwide on Nov. 13.

Its first-day sales estimate was based on Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates.

Activision shares were up 14 cents to $10.70 in early Nasdaq trading.

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