Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is now the most successful entertainment launch ever according to Guinness World Records, publishers of the annual chronicle, who since 2008 have been collating video game records for special Gamer's Editions of the almanac.

The official announcement by Guiness World Records verifies what Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's publishing company, Activision, had been so proud about following the game's release on November 10, 2009 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Revenue from the first 24 hours of sales was over $401.6 million (€300m), breaking the record set by Grand Theft Auto IV on April 29, 2008, which was also made available across the same three hardware platforms.

Grand Theft Auto IV had achieved $310 million (€231m) worth of sales in its first day, and prior to that it was September 2007's Xbox 360 and PC title Halo 3 that was a record holder, having raked in $170m (€127m) over the same period.

Modern Warfare 2 is thought to have cost around $50 million to produce and a further $200 million to launch. GTAIV's estimate lies at $100 million in total, while Halo 3 is thought to be upwards of $60 million.

Part of Modern Warfare 2's financial success story may be down to the wealth of special editions made available at launch. The basic game retailed at $59.99 / €59.99 across all formats - $5 more expensive than the first Modern Warfare, and unusually high for PC games which are generally $10-$20 cheaper - and there were versions with added goodies going for $79.99 (€89.99), $139.99 (€120), $149.99 (€149.99) and $399.99 (€329.99).

Despite the critical plaudits bestowed upon its developers Infinity Ward and over $1 billion in sales between November 2009 and Janauary 2010 alone, an acrimonious rift has developed between Infinity ward's now ex-bosses and the studio's owners, Activision.

The studio's Chief Technical Officer, Jason West, and Chief Executive Officer, were fired in March for alleged insubordination, and allegations have flown back and forth regarding unpaid bonuses and the ownership of the Modern Warfare brand.

Since then, West and Zampella have aligned themselves with Electronic Arts, forming a new studio called Respawn Entertainment, and more than 10 of Infinity Ward's key employees have left the company.

Activision have reshuffled their corporate structure and are believed to be preparing to diversify the franchise further, adding the developers at Sledgehammer Games to the list of subsidiaries that will be working on producing more Call of Duty titles.

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