Battlefield 3, the modern combat game from Electronic Arts, sold more than 5 million units in its first week, the company has announced. At retail, the game has already generated more than $300 million in estimated revenue.
EA said the numbers are based on its own internal estimates and mean that the title is the fastest-selling in EA history. That’s a good start for EA’s battle against Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which debuts on Nov. 8. The grudge match is as big as it gets in the multibillion-dollar first-person shooter market.
While the numbers are good for EA, the company still faces stiff competition. Activision Blizzard’s Call of Duty Black Ops sold more than $650 million worth of games in its first five days when it went on sale last year. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 is expected to sell two or three times more copies than Battlefield 3.
On Metacritic, a game review aggregator, the game received a score of 85 out 100 on the Xbox 360, 87 on the PS 3, and 90 on the PC. VentureBeat’s own Sebastian Haley gave it a rating of 69 as he called the game EA’s biggest fumble since Medal of Honor.
EA says Battlefield 3 has more than 2.5 million “likes” on Facebook. EA said “server stability was solid in the first weekend,” though it did acknowledged that, on opening day and after that, server problems stopped players from going online. EA said it had its highest-ever usage rates, and uptime “stabilized to roughly 98.9 percent” throughout the weekend. EA said Battlefield 3 fans have executed 73 million savior kills, 48 million revives and destroyed 67 million vehicles.
“We are overwhelmed by the global response to Battlefield 3,” said Patrick Soderlund, executive vice president of the EA Games Label, in a statement. “It is extremely gratifying to deliver an entertainment experience that delights our fans, and to have the opportunity to introduce new people to the franchise. Already, we are seeing unprecedented play times and online activity which is very rewarding. This launch solidifies Battlefield as a leading entertainment brand.”
DICE, a division of EA, has been making the series since 2002, with the launch of Battlefield 1942. To date, the series has sold more than 50 million units.