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Activision says the latest release in its Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops2, became the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row, generating more than $US500 million in worldwide retail sales in the first 24 hours..
The game company's last release in the series, 2011's "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," which made $US400 million in its first 24 hours and topped $US1 billion - putting it well ahead of most Hollywood blockbusters (although the top grossing movie of the year, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, edged it at $US1.32 billion).
Call of Duty:BlackOps II costs from $US99 through popular commercial download service Steam (which serves New Zealand, among many other countries). A deluxe edition costs $US110.
The title has had mixed reviews. Obsessive gamer and globally-rated Call of Duty player Kim Dotcom tweeted that he hated it and expected Activision's share price to drop (today, the company's shares [NAS:ATVI] were up 4.65% on the sales news, pushing the US company's market cap above $US12 billion).
Forbes agreed with Dotcom, calling the single-player version of the game boring and its movie-style narrative sequences endless, often leaving room for little actual gameplay.
The scenary is beautifully rendered, but there's lots of gameplay revolving around the over-familiar scenario of being stuck in a corridor shooting at stuff.