"Ready for dinner"
If you’ve wondered why movies look more and more like video games, here’s part of the answer: “Call of Duty: Black Ops II,” the ninth in the popular video game franchise, racked up sales of $1 billion in its first 15 days of release, according to the research firm Chart-Track and estimates by Activision Publishing, the game’s developer.
“Black Ops II” took a day less to reach the $1 billion mark than last year’s entry, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” By contrast, the fastest movie to $1 billion box office was “Avatar,” which took a poky 17 days. According to the Telegraph it’s the fourth consecutive year that Activision has claimed the biggest global entertainment product launch for a “Call of Duty” game.
Now chew on this: In the last 15 days “more than 150 million hours have been logged online playing ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II.‘” That translates to 1.25 million people playing eight hours a day, making this video game the equivalent of the second largest corporate employer in the U.S. after Wal-Mart. While Salon has often criticized Wal-Mart, it’s worth noting here that Wal-Mart employees at least get days off and some compensation for their time.
Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.More Alex Halperin.