Here’s a comparison for you. On Friday, Vivendi subsidiary Universal Music Group announced that it was buying EMI’s recorded music division for $1.9bn. The same day, another subsidiary – Activision Blizzard – revealed that its new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 game had racked up $400m of sales in its first 24 hours on sale. That’s based on 6.5m sales in the US and UK on Tuesday 8 November, when the game went on sale at midnight in retail stores to cater to demand.
“We believe the launch of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories,” says CEO Bobby Kotick. The company has added that lifetime sales of the overall Call of Duty franchise have now outgrossed box-office takings for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings – an artificial achievement, given the popularity of those films for DVDs and merchandise.