By James Paladino ( | First Posted: Nov 16, 2012 06:03 PM EST

Black Ops 2 launched on Nov. 13 (Photo : Activision)

As the seasons cycle with a steady rhythm, so too does each year's annual Call of Duty installment usurp the gaming throne from older brother.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 earned publisher Activision $500 million in its first 24 hours alone, compared to the $400 million that Modern Warfare 3 raked in.

"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," CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg said in a statement.

He adds, "I want to thank our incredible team at Treyarch for making an amazing game, everyone at Activision for making this brand a force of nature and our retail partners for their unprecedented support of the franchise. But most importantly I want to thank our millions of fans for their continued support and loyalty for making us better every day."

While no official announcement has been made, rumors indicate that Modern Warfare 4 may be in development for a 2013 release.

"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," notes Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick.

Black Ops II has been warmly received, netting a Metacritic review average of 83/100. A Wii U version of the game will launch with Nintendo's next-generation console on November 18.

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