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November 21, 2012

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Makes Explosive Record-Setting Debut

By Steve Anderson, Contributing TMCnet Writer

While most expected brisk sales for "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2"--it was hard not to given the sheer frenzy around this title--few expected them to be quite this brisk. The first day alone of sales for Activision (News - Alert) Blizzard's new title reached over $500 million, setting a new record of sales for the company.

Activision, in talking about the massive sales success that was "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2", described the support of "millions of fans" who attended over 16,000 different midnight openings for the game at stores the world over. Industry analysts, in turn, are looking to both this title and some of the other majors like "Assassin's Creed III" to make some major money for the industry, enough to turn the tide in a slump for the industry that's been going on for the better part of a year.

The entire "Call of Duty" line seems to do reasonably well at market; the previous installment released last year--"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3"--landed fully $400 million during its first day of sales, and going on to top $1 billion in sales worldwide in just 16 days, a feat that not even the ultra-popular feature film "Avatar" could beat, as that one took 17 days to hit the billion.

It's tough to ignore the overall market, however, which has been in a slump for the better part of a year in the face of an overall soft global economy, as well as--as some analysts claim--low numbers of new games and a hardware environment that's growing a bit stale and due for some refreshing.

Of course, the release of the Wii U will likely help on that front, and new information about the next Xbox console suggests that they're going to have a really impressive piece of hardware on their hands if it all turns out as initially projected. The softness in the economy, however, isn't likely to go away, but with new and better hardware available, it might well push buyers to make a few judicious purchases.

But with the market itself changing--smartphones and tablets have become a much bigger part of the gaming picture for some time now--it's enough to wonder if even bigger consoles would drive the market any more. Given the sales of "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2", however, it would suggest that traditional gaming--console and PC alike--still has some life left in it.

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