Despite numerous launch problems, DICE's Battlefield 3 appears to have been worth the absurd marketing budget EA put behind it. EA is reporting that the game has sold five million copies in the first week alone which, beyond simply being an absurd number of games, make it the fastest-selling game in EA’s history. And yes, that includes Madden.
“From Tokyo to Los Angeles, Sydney to London, millions of fans have been playing all weekend long -- we are overwhelmed by the global response to Battlefield 3,” said Patrick Soderlund, Executive Vice President of the EA Games Label. “This launch solidifies Battlefield as a leading entertainment brand.”
While these sales are indeed impressive, they still pale in comparison to launch numbers of the last Call of Duty game. Black Ops, despite being released by the less-popular Treyarch, still managed to sell 5.6 in the first day, making Battlefield 3's sales look meager in comparison. Granted, it launched against EA's Medal of Honor, which had much less buzz than Battlefield 3 has, and for the franchise's first proper landing on consoles, 5 million copies is definitely worth being excited over. It proves that Call of Duty isn't unbeatable, and gives EA the proper shooter franchise they've been looking for since Call of Duty took out Halo for the top spot on Xbox Live. We'd be shocked if DICE wasn't already hard at work on downloadable content for the game, as well as a sequel (sorry, Mirror's Edge 2).
Now, it's time to wait and see what effect it has on Modern Warfare 3's release numbers. Maybe this time it will take them two days to hit 6 million. Who knows?