Call of Duty: Black Ops Racks Up $1 Billion in Sales in 42 Days

Call of Duty: Black Ops has earned $1 billion in sales after just 42 days on the market.

"In all of entertainment, only Call of Duty and Avatar have ever achieved the billion-dollar revenue milestone this quickly," Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick told the New York Post.

20th Century Fox's Avatar is still the fastest entertainment property to nab $1 billion in sales in the shortest amount of time: 20 days after release.

The last video game in the series, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, passed the billion-dollar mark in 64 days.

Call of Duty is in the running to become one of the biggest entertainment releases in history, whether in movies, books or video games, the Post reports. It the game, which retails for $59.99, set records by generating $360 million in revenue on its first day and $650 million during its first five days.

"More people play 'Black Ops' every day than watch late-night hosts Jay Leno, David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon combined," Kotick told the Post.

Black Ops users have logged more than 600 million hours of online play -- or 68,500 years, Kotick pointed out to the Post. He also says the game, which allows group play, "is a social networking tool" and that Activision's business model is closer to Facebook's than a typical video-game manufacturer.

Shares of Santa Monica-based Activision Blizzard closed up 2 cents to $12.24 Tuesday. They've risen 10 percent year-to-date.

Meanwhile, Activision on Tuesday named Electronic Arts in a $400 million lawsuit it filed in April against two Black Ops game developers Activision fired in March, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Activision alleges that developers Jason West and Vincent Zampella breached their contract with Activision by forming their own company, Respawn Entertainment, and selling a game to competitor Electronic Arts. (In turn, West and Zampella filed a suit against Activision seeking royalty payments from Modern Warfare 2.)

EA spokesman Jeff Brown told the Times, "This is a PR play filled with pettiness and deliberate misdirection. Activision wants to hide the fact that they have no credible response to the claim of two artists who were fired and now just want to get paid for their work."

Peter Oberth
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