Violent video game breaks sales records on first day of release

A CONTROVERSIAL video game broke sales records on its opening day to make it the biggest entertainment launch in history, according to its publisher.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7 million copies in the UK and US alone within 24 hours of its launch on Tuesday, generating a revenue of 186 million, Activision said.

"The Call Of Duty franchise has become a cultural phenomenon, showing the power of video games as an entertainment medium," said chief executive Mike Griffith.

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"The shattering of these entertainment records is a testament to the compelling, cinematic and uniquely engaging experience that the Call Of Duty brand delivers. Modern Warfare 2 has taken interactive experience to unprecedented heights, setting a new standard for entertainment."

Crowds gathered in London's Leicester Square for a "premiere" on Monday night, complete with tanks and military costumes, ahead of the epic hitting the shelves at midnight. Games fans may have been snapping up the 55 discs, but the blockbuster's content has come under attack from politicians.

Described in press material as featuring "gripping and heart-racing action as players face off against a new threat dedicated to bringing the world to the brink of collapse", the game involves hunting down a terrorist and allows players to plot attacks against civilians.

Modern Warfare 2, developed by US company Infinity Ward, is rated as mature for its "blood, drug reference, intense violence and language".

Labour MP Keith Vaz called for action to ensure the 18-certificate game did not end up in the hands of children, while fellow Labour former digital minister Tom Watson said it would be better to support the UK's video gaming industry.