Modern Warfare 2 is the best launch in COD's history after selling $1 billion in 10 days

mw2 gold camo
(Image credit: Activision)

In the 10 days since it released on October 28, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has become the best launch in the series' history after hitting $800M in its first three days and crossing $1 billion in global sell-through. The previous highest selling title, Black Ops II, took 15 days to hit such a milestone.

Activision Blizzard accompanies a delighted press release with a few statistics: players have played more than 200 million hours and over 1 billion matches across PC and consoles. The company also claims the game is the highest grossing entertainment opening of 2022 (although I see that Top Gun Maverick has grossed $1.48B).

"Our developers, along with our entire Activision Blizzard team, are the backbone of our unwavering commitment to serve our hundreds of millions of players around the world," said Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. "I am so proud of the extraordinary efforts from our Call of Duty teams and the records they have achieved with Modern Warfare II. Connecting the world through joy, fun and the thrill of competition is the key to our success. Modern Warfare II has provided this to millions of players faster and with greater satisfaction than ever before."

Following Activision Blizzard's sale to Microsoft, Modern Warfare 2 is the first time that COD has appeared on Steam since Call of Duty: WWII in 2017, which has to have helped the game's sales on PC. Is Steam a secret weapon to the game's popularity? Modern Warfare 2 is the only 2022 game currently to have broken into Steam's top 10 games by concurrent players, sitting at sixth today by peak players.

"The incredible momentum driving Modern Warfare II is a direct reflection of the energy and passion of the Call of Duty community," added Johanna Faries, who is the general manager of Call of Duty. "As we look ahead to an unprecedented level of support for Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0’s launch next week, we are motivated to deliver again for the best player community in the world."

Modern Warfare II development was led by Infinity Ward, with assistance from various Activision Blizzard internal studios, and our own Morgan Park reckoned that this entry shows they're the best Call of Duty studio there is: "I know I'm playing a Modern Warfare game because the shooting is so finely tuned that I want to take my Gunsmith build out to dinner."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."