Perhaps one of the most eagerly anticipated games for the Playstation 3 and XBox this year - Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 2 has certainly got gamers the world over in a bit of a spin.
According to the BBC Technology site, the game which is published by Activision has been tipped to become a record breaking success. Activision are cautiously estimating that the total sales of the game will reach 3m across the UK whilst some analysts believe it could sell 10m copies globally in the run up to Christmas.
Hundreds of gamers gathered outside retail stores, ahead of its release at GMT 00:00 on the release day. Retailers have further confirmed massive numbers of sales of the game. HMV has predicted more than 1m UK sales in the first week, Amazon said the pre-order sales were 50% higher than GTA4 and Play.com say that in the run up to launch it was getting more than 150 pre-orders per minute.
The first Modern Warfare debuted in 2007 and sold more than 12 million copies. The game won praise for its uncompromising story line and attention to detail.COD 4 MW has been eagerly played ever since and gamers have eagerly anticipated the sequel to the popular game which sees a combat team travelling to Russia, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Brazil and into orbit, in an attempt to thwart the terrorists.
The game has not been without its critisism however as one chapter, prefaced by a warning screen, involves a player joining a massacre of civilians at an airport. According to the BBC, Labour MP Keith Vaz condemned the game saying he was "absolutely shocked" by its violence. In response, publisher Activision said the scene was "not representative of overall experience".
Perhaps some of the more interesting news regarding the game's popularity has been the price war, which sparked as retailers drastically discounted the game in order to attract customers. Despite the recommended retail price for the Xbox and PS3 formats being Â£54.99, consumers are able to get their hands on a copy for almost Â£30 less, and cost cutting by big supermarket chains means that Modern Warfare 2 will be cheaper on the high street than it is online.
Some individuals also had managed to get their hands on the game early after shops broke the sales embargo.
Sainsburys is running a promotion where the game will be offered for just Â£26 seeing it as a lucrative piece of marketing to entice customers through the doors. However, my local store had sold out by mid morning upon release day, despite the store opening at 7:00am. According to the Guardian's website: A spokeswoman for Sainsbury's said the retailer expected the game to be its biggest seller of the year, with 120,000 copies expected to be sold in store and a further 2,000 online. She added that the Â£26 price tag was not a limited offer.
Upon asking for a copy in my local store today, the assistant told me that she was not sure if the store had exhausted all of the copies it had, but that I should come back in the morning just in case.
Robert Kotick, CEO of Activision, described it as "one of the largest entertainment launches of any media of all time," analysts also believe that the game could sell as many as 5m units globally on its first day.