The latest installment of the blockbuster Call of Duty videogame franchise went on sale Tuesday with publisher Activision saying pre-orders had topped last year's record-shattering "Call of Duty: Black Ops."
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" hit stores at midnight with thousands of fans lining up to be the first to get their hands on the game, the eighth title in a franchise that has won a devoted following since it was launched in 2003.
The Santa Monica, California-based Activision, a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, said launch parties were held at more than 13,000 retailers around the globe.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops" rang up 360 million dollars in sales in North America and Britain on its first day of availability last year to become the highest-grossing entertainment launch ever.
Activision did not provide figures but said pre-orders for "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" had already topped pre-orders for "Call of Duty: Black Ops," which sold 5.6 million copies in North America and Britain on its first day.
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3," which was developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games, picks up the storyline from "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" and segues into World War 3.
"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" is going up against a military first-person game from Electronic Arts -- "Battlefield 3," which was released last month and has become EA's fastest-selling videogame ever.
"Battlefield 3" is set near in a near future, with players taking on roles as US Marines tackling missions in places such as Paris, New York and Tehran.
© 2011 AFP