LOS ANGELES Activision Blizzard Inc has raked in more than $1 billion in worldwide sales of "Call of Duty: Black Ops," the latest installment of the U.S. game publisher's most successful franchise.
That performance built on the previous benchmark of $650 million of sales in the game's first five days, which set a five-day global record for a movie, book or videogame, the company said.
"In all of entertainment, only 'Call of Duty' and 'Avatar' have ever achieved the billion dollar revenue milestone this quickly," Activision Chief Executive Officer Bobby Kotick said in a statement, referring to the blockbuster alien epic helmed by James Cameron.
Wall Street's expectations run high for Activision's holiday quarter, based also on the company's latest "World of Warcraft" installment.
But sales in the $50 billion U.S. video game industry -- which has been slow to bounce back from the recession -- are down 5 percent for the year to November 30.
Despite a strong November, research group NPD estimates that overall sales of gaming hardware and software for 2010 are likely to range from $18.8 billion to $19.6 billion, the top of which would be roughly flat with last year.
(Reporting by Edwin Chan; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)