Microsoft today announced that the Xbox 360 exclusive game “Halo 3” has officially become the biggest entertainment launch in history, garnering an estimated $170 million in sales in the United States alone in the first 24 hours. The Xbox 360 title beat previous records set by blockbuster theatrical releases like “Spider-man 3” and novels such as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
“Halo 3” is the conclusion to the epic trilogy and picks up where “Halo 2” left off, answering questions around the fates of the beloved protagonist Master Chief and his artificial intelligence sidekick Cortana as they struggle to save humankind from destruction at the hands of the alien coalition known as the Covenant. In addition to the rich storyline, “Halo 3” continues the franchise’s grand tradition of delivering innovative online multiplayer experiences via Xbox LIVE, the world’s largest social network on TV.
“Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Not only is “Halo 3” setting sales records, it’s also redefining entertainment.
Within the first 20 hours alone, we’ve seen more than a million Xbox LIVE members come online to play Halo 3 – that makes September 25 the most active Xbox LIVE gaming day in history.”
Retailers have also expressed their excitement about the launch of “Halo 3.”
Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President of Merchandising for GameStop Corp commented that, “With consumer demand for Halo 3 and related products, we expect it to be the biggest video game title generator in GameStop’s history."
“The initial demand we’ve seen for ‘Halo 3’ has been astounding, and the game is on track to become the number one gaming title of all time. ‘Halo 3’ is a genuine entertainment phenomenon and our customers have responded very enthusiastically to the release,” said Jill Hamburger, vice president of movies and games at Best Buy.
Developed by Bungie Studios, the “Halo” franchise is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and optimized for the Xbox LIVE® online entertainment network. The more than 7 million Xbox LIVE users will get a continually evolving gaming experience with “Halo 3.” Its online multiplayer and cooperative gameplay for Xbox LIVE Gold users, the much-talked-about Saved Films feature that enables players to capture and save their favorite moments on their hard drives, and Forge, an innovative map editor that enables infinite customization options are just some of the new features to experience.
More than 10,000 retailers hosted Midnight Madness events to celebrate the launch of this third installment in the billion-dollar franchise. In New York, Seattle, Miami and Los Angeles, Microsoft and retail partners hosted marquee launch events that featured contests and appearances by local celebrities and professional athletes who are fanatical about the “Halo” franchise, including Ludacris and Zac Efron and Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
More than 1.7 million copies of “Halo 3” were preordered in the United States before a single store opened its doors at midnight, Sept. 25, making this the fasting pre-selling game in history, surpassing the previous record-setting pre-sales of “Halo 2.” Well beyond just a U.S. phenomenon, the launch of “Halo 3” was a worldwide celebration that released in 37 countries and available in 17 languages.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a superior video game and entertainment system delivering the best games, unique entertainment features and a unified online gaming network that revolve around gamers. Xbox 360 will have a portfolio of more than 300 games and will be available in nearly 40 countries by the end of 2007. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/xbox360.
Xbox LIVE is the first and most comprehensive unified online entertainment network seamlessly integrated throughout the entire console experience, making it easy for people to find the friends, games and entertainment they want from the moment they power on their Xbox 360 system. Xbox LIVE connects millions of members across 25 countries to enjoy hundreds of multiplayer games, downloadable games via Xbox LIVE Arcade, free and premium playable game demos, music videos, TV shows and movies in the United States as well as new game levels, characters and vehicles for all their favorite retail games. More information can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-us/live.
About Bungie Studios
Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years, it has produced games such as the “Marathon” trilogy and the first two “Myth” games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie’s “Halo” franchise is an international award-winning action title that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.8 million units worldwide, logging nearly one billion hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE, and spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel and more. “Halo 3,” the final installment in Bungie’s epic “Halo” trilogy, released on Sept. 25 to critical acclaim and record setting sales. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.