HMV, which last night at midnight hosted the official UK Prestige launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 at its Trocadero store, Piccadilly Circus, Central London, is predicting that the combination of huge online pre-orders along with massive purchases instore across the whole market will see the cult title become the first ever game to break through the 1m barrier for first week unit sales. In so doing it will also become the fastest-selling games title in UK games history.
The record is currently held by Grand Theft Auto 4 (GTA 4), which last April sold around an incredible 800,000 copies in its first week, but even that remarkable feat is set to be blitzed by the latest title from the Call of Duty franchise.
HMV opened 140 of its stores around the country, and was joined by other retailers to create the biggest-ever midnight launch of any entertainment product – games, film or music. Many thousands of fans queued outside the HMV stores alone, and the rush has carried on today and is expected to continue through the week and beyond towards Christmas.
The first gamer to officially purchase a copy was Chris Cullen, who queued for more than 24 hours outside the HMV Trocadero store in London's Piccadilly Circus. Surrey-based Chris, who is a self-confessed Call of Duty fanatic is known to other gamers as 'The Politician 1'. He started the queue on early Sunday evening and arrived dressed from head to toe in full military gear, including a face-mask to protect his identity. Chris was rewarded with a free copy of the limited edition Prestige version of the game, which is only available at HMV.
HMV's Gennaro Castaldo comments: “Modern Warfare 2 raises the bar for all games, not only for the astonishing demand we are seeing from gamers all around the country, but for its technical brilliance also. With more than a million unit sales likely in its first week alone, HMV confidently predicts it will go on to become the biggest-selling title ever in games history.”