The latest video game in the Call of Duty series racked up a record-breaking $400 million US in sales in North America and the U.K. on the first day after its release.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, a first-person shooter set in modern times, was released at midnight Tuesday at 13,000 retailers around the world.

Within 24 hours, it had sold 6.5 million copies of the game in North America and the U.K. alone, reported the game's Santa Monica, Calif.-based publisher Activision Publishing Inc., Friday.

Activision said it's the third consecutive year that the Call of Duty franchise has broken first-day video game sales records.

Last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops sold 5.6 million copies in the U.K. and North America, raking in $367 million in its first 24 hours. By Dec. 21, 2010, it had surpassed $1 billion in sales worldwide and by March 2011, it had become the bestselling game of all time, surpassing the previous record-holder Wii Play, market research firm NPD Group reported.

In 2009, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 — the direct prequel to the latest release — sold 4.7 million copies and took in $316 million in its first day.

Activision also announced Friday that it is donating $3 million to the Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit corporation that provides job placement and training for veterans.