Activision has announced that for the fourth consecutive year, the Call of Duty franchise has delivered the biggest entertainment launch of the year. ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops II has achieved an estimated sell-through of more than $500 million worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release’ confirmed the publishing house, citing Chart-Track statistics, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates.

‘With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row,’ said Activision Blizzard CEO, Bobby Kotick. ‘Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for Harry Potter and Star Wars, the two most successful movie franchises of all time. Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013.’

Black Ops 2 launched on 13th November 2012 prompting fans to attend more than 16,000 midnight openings at retail stores worldwide. Even the Twitterati couldn’t escape, with the game trending globally on Twitter in 23 cities worldwide during its day of release.

Call of Duty has become more than a product people buy, it’s a brand people buy into. And every November we do more than just the launch of a game, we kick off an annual, unofficial but worldwide phenomenon called the Call of Duty season,’ said Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg.

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is available now for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, with a Wii U version to follow on the 30th November.