According to Lazard Capital Markets' Atul Bagga, as reported by GameSpot, pre-orders for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 were nearly three times that of Battlefield 3, which pegs Activision's shooter at around 9 million pre-orders. The estimate puts Modern Warfare 3 pre-orders roughly 70 percent ahead of those for Modern Warfare 2 and 55 percent beyond Call of Duty: Black Ops. Furthermore, the analyst expects Modern Warfare 3 to move a full 20 million copies by the end of the year.
Those aren't exactly outlandish estimates, given the success of the franchise. Perhaps a more interesting study would be to gauge how many people are skipping work to play. Frankly, with Skyrim launching later this week, we fear worldwide productivity will flatline forever.