$500 million week for new 'Call of Duty'?

The new Activision game could set a world record.

By 247 wallst Nov 9, 2009 8:00AM

Activision Blizzard (ATVI) is about to release its “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II" video game. Sales are expected to be half a billion dollars in the first week. That would make it the biggest entertainment product release of all time, topping even the most successful blockbuster movies.

 

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Activision is planning more than 10,000 midnight openings at retailers around the country, including most Gamestop locations.

 

The video game industry needs a big catalyst for the holiday season. Sales of Microsoft's (MSFT) Xbox 360, Sony’s (SNE) PlayStation 3, and Nintendo’s Wii have been severely weakened because of the recession.


The three game console makers recently cut prices, but that may not be enough to sharply improve sales during a period when shoppers are expected to be especially frugal. An unusally popular game might be a game changer for the console business.

 

The video game industry used to be one of the leading sectors of the consumer electronics business. Retailers like Best Buy (BBY) counted on console sales as a significant contributor to their revenue.


That has been less true as sales of video games have fallen and sales of smartphones and flat screen TVs have picked up. “Call of Duty” will probably reverse that trend.

 

Top Stocks writer Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

 

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