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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Release Sets Records

Made More Money Than Twilight's Opening Weekend In One Day

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If you have any kind of passing interest in video games then you’ve more than likely heard of Call of Duty. The series has been around since 2003, and including sequels, spin-off/expansions has released 12 different games. The latest title is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) and looks to be the best selling yet.

Modern Warfare 2 could be on the Top 20 best selling games of all time list before the year ends. You thought Twilight knocked the ball out of the park with a $142 million opening weekend? Modern Warfare 2 raked in over $310 million in it’s first 24 hours and sold 4.7 million units, setting a launch day media record. The previous record holder was Grand Theft Auto IV which  sold 3.6 million units.

The Modern Warfare 2 craze not only spawned record breaking sales, but set records on the Xbox Live Service. The first day of release saw around 2.2 million gamers logon to play Modern Warfare 2 online. Coupled with the statistic is 5.2 million online multiplayer hours were logged during the game’s first day.

Have you played Modern Warfare 2 yet? Let Us Know.

Leading up to release, Modern Warfare 2 had a couple of minor speed bumps. First, the PC community was up in arms about Infinity Ward’s decision to do away with dedicated servers from the multiplayer service. Dedicated servers are the tried and true method of allowing multiplayer gameplay in first person shooters. The reason dedicated servers are so loved by the PC community is they allow players to monitor and police gameplay sessions, and allow for open customization by the server admin.

Instead of going the traditional ‘dedicated’ route, Infinity Ward launched their IWNet service. They decided to scrap dedicated servers altogether, stating the overall quality of online multiplayer would improve with IWNet. This led the PC community to petition, and some to even boycott MW2. Currently, there are over 226,000 signatures for the online petition.

*spoilers ahead*

What had greater potential to spoil the MW2 party was the backlash coming from a particular gameplay element which sparked some controversy. There’s a mission included in the game which has you working undercover in a terrorist cell, who’s gunning down civilians in a Russian airport. The game provides an option to engage in the shooting to help bolster your undercover image. I haven’t played the game personally, but reports on all fronts state the level is played out very cinematically and is meant to pull the emotional strings of the player.

What are your thoughts on the Modern Warfare 2 controversy? Tell us.

The controversy has stemmed from a wide variety of places. The most prevelant is from Australia, where classification of the game was put under much higher scrutiny than the US release. The events of the Ft. Hood tragedy only added fuel to the fire, and led many people to be upset at the images shown in MW2. Stephen Totilo an editor of Kotaku.com, a popular video game blog, spoke with MSNBC and provided some insight into what brought the level to the media forefront:

*spoilers end*

The dedicated server protest, and terrorist level couldn’t keep Modern Warfare 2 from reaching mammoth sales. If anything the added media coverage only helped hype the game even further. VGChartz, a company based around video game sales figures is projecting Modern Warfare 2 to sell 14.5 million copies by the turn of the new year.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Release Sets Records
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  • http://jerokiahdarr.com/blog Jerokiah Darr

    I am a decorated, disabled veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom who plays MW2.

    After playing, spectating several of the levels in the campaign mode, I actually
    had flashbacks and became physically sick to my stomach. My brother owns
    the console and I bought him the game, but enjoy the online play so decided
    to help him with the single-player campaigns.

    Now as a veteran, there are certain events that trigger memories and flashbacks
    even in everyday life; none so vividly as the latest Call of Duty though!

    The graphics and gameplay are the most realistic experiences I have seen in
    any form of media including movies. It is so close to the real thing visually,
    that I literally stopped playing the campaign mode altogether.

    The slaughter of the civilian Russians had my heart racing, but that is not the
    most upsetting part, which was actually an earlier scene where you are riding
    in a convoy when your HMMWV explodes.

    Because other people use the system, I haven’t opted out of the offensive
    levels, however, what is offensive or difficult for me may not even be excluded.

    Maybe if realism wasn’t such a large focus the single-player campaign mode
    would be more enjoyable for veterans. Again, everyone is affected differently
    but for some, it is very difficult to relive some of those experiences.

    Sincerely,
    Jerokiah Darr
    Former U.S. Army Infantry SGT.

  • John Vinson

    Thanks for your insightful comment Jerokiah. I’ve always been curious to see how veterans react to pieces of media depicting familiar, and unsettling scenarios. There’s of course the stories of the WWII vets not being able to sit through Saving Private Ryan.

    I wonder what it is about video games that really drives an experience more so than any other bit of media. For me, in the first Modern Warfare the *spoilers* scene where the nuke goes off and all of the marine helicopters go down really left an impression */spoilers* more so than any scene in a movie, or chapter in a book.

    Hopefully if you get to read this I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Six Days in Fallujah game that was controversial earlier this year. Here’s a good summary of what the game, if it ever sees a release will be about:

    http://www.joystiq.com/2009/04/06/konami-announces-six-days-in-fallujah-game-based-on-real-batt/