Gears of War 3 sold more than 3 million copies of the game in its first week to quickly become 2011's highest grossing games.

Microsoft mouthpiece Major Nelson touts the achievement on his blog:

Following more than 22,000 midnight madness launch events, Microsoft and Epic Games today announced that the Xbox 360 exclusive sold more than three million copies in its first week since release, cementing Gears 3 as the biggest game of 2011 and catapulting the franchise beyond one billion dollars in lifetime sales.

The Gears of War franchise has always been a major blockbuster for Microsoft, but this week's sales have blown away previous Gears of War week-one performances. Gears of War, and Gears of War 2 have each sold about 6 million copies during their lifetime, with Gears of War 3 quickly overtaking its older brothers.

Though Gears of War's success pales in comparison to Call of Duty: Black Ops' first week sales in 2010, which sold around 6 million copies on the Xbox360 alone, according to VGchartz.com. Black Ops has sold about 13 million games worldwide on the 360.

Gears of War 3 may not be able to hold onto the highest grossing game of the year title for long with games like Battlefield 3 and the new Call of Duty titles due to release near the end of the year.