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GameStop ‘Call of Duty’ Sales Top 1 Million in First Day

GameStop Corp., the video-game retailer, sold more than 1 million copies of “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” yesterday, positioning the new title from Activision Blizzard Inc. to break sales records.

“‘Black Ops II’ is shaping up to be our biggest game launch of all time,” Tony Bartel, president of the Grapevine, Texas-based chain, said yesterday in an e-mail. “GameStop sold more than 1 million units worldwide during our midnight launch period.”

The latest installment in the top-selling “Call of Duty” franchise went on sale timed to take advantage of the coming holiday shopping season. The title, which retails for about $60 in the U.S., “shattered pre-order records” set last year by “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3,” according to a statement yesterday from Activision.

GameStop, which sells new and used video games, consoles and other merchandise, has stores in the U.S., the U.K., Spain and other countries.

Based on retailer checks, “Black Ops II” probably will sell between 6.5 million and 7.2 million units in the U.S. and U.K. in its first 24 hours -- matching or exceeding last year’s version by as much as 10 percent -- estimates Michael Olson, an analyst with Piper Jaffray Cos. in Minneapolis.

The first 24 hours of sales typically equate to 25 percent to 35 percent of the total through December, according to Olson.

GameStop rose 1 percent to $23.48 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 2.7 percent this year. Activision, based in Santa Monica, California, lost 0.3 percent to $10.69 and has slid 13 percent so far in 2012.

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