Activision Blizzard says Call of Duty has crossed the $1 billion mark

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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SANTA MONICA, Calif. - Video game publisher Activision Blizzard Inc. said Wednesday that the game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" has brought in more than US$1 billion in revenue since it went on sale in November.
Given that pace, the game is on track to become the best selling video game ever by number of copies sold, said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Morgan.
Based on the revenue figure, Pachter said the company has probably shipped about 17 million copies of the game so far. And he expects it to surpass the roughly 23 million copies sold of "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas," which was released in 2004 and holds the previous record.
"Call of Duty" has an edge because of its online multi-player mode. New updates to the online version can give titles a longer shelf life.
Still, Pachter said he doesn't expect Activision's fourth-quarter financial results to surpass expectations. "They're not killing it, but they're making it," he said.
While "Call of Duty" sales are "impressive," titles such as "Guitar Hero" have been lacklustre.
Others in the video game industry have given indications of weak holiday sales. Rival Electronic Arts Inc. this week slashed its 2009 earnings estimate for the second time. GameStop Corp., the world's biggest video game retailer, said sales during the shopping season dropped 8.6 per cent from the year before.
Activision shares rose six cents to $10.83 in afternoon trading.

Organizations: Activision, Wedbush Morgan, Electronic Arts Inc. GameStop

Geographic location: SANTA MONICA, San Andreas

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