People walk past billboards advertising "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" near Times Square in New York, November 6, 2014
San Francisco (AFP) - Blockbuster military shooter video game "Call of Duty" has blasted past $10 billion in lifetime sales, propelled by demand for the latest installment in the 11-year-old franchise.
Activision Publishing on Thursday said that the launch of "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" outshined debuts of other games as well as films, books or albums released this year.
Since Activision introduced the first "Call of Duty" in 2003, the series of games has brought in more than $10 billion in revenue, exceeding box office receipts for smash film franchises such as "Hunger Games" and "Transformers," according to parent company Activision Blizzard's chief Bobby Kotick.
"Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of 2014 in terms of revenue, surpassing all movie, music and book launches this year," Kotick said in a release.
Activision Publishing chief Eric Hirshberg predicted that "Advanced Warfare" will be the top selling video game this year but did not disclose how many copies of the game have been sold.
The newest installment of "Call of Duty" hit the streets early this month, pitting soldiers of the future against a Machiavellian villain played by actor Kevin Spacey.
Activision set out to reload the franchise, bringing in studio Sledgehammer Games to put its spin on the title and taking advantage of advanced capabilities in new-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.
The story woven into the game features "an iconic new character" played by Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey.
Special gear was used to capture Spacey's movements, expressions and more to create a realistic virtual version of him playing the part of a private military contractor intent on ruling the world.
- Future soldiers -
The game is set in the year 2054, when a private military corporation run by Spacey's character is the dominant power.
Players take on the roles of soldiers with advance combat abilities due to exoskeleton suits and other equipment.
Versions of "Advanced Warfare" are priced at $60 each. Copies of the game have been tailored for the latest Sony and Microsoft consoles as well as for personal computers powered by Windows software.
Stories in the blockbuster "Call of Duty" military shooter franchise are inspired by historical events, according to Activision.
A California judge recently shot down a lawsuit filed by former Panama dictator Manuel Noriega after his likeness appeared in a "Call of Duty" video game.
Other versions of the game have featured Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, and Noriega.