Microsoft boasted long before the release of Halo 3 that September 25 would play host
to the biggest
videogame launch in history, and now it has the numbers to back up that
A press release from Microsoft states that Halo 3 has generated $170 million within
the first 24 hours of Halo 3’s
availability in the U.S. alone. The impressive day one sales make Halo 3 a bigger launch day than the Spider-Man
3 film and the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows novel – though that may be
attributed to Halo 3’s higher average
selling price compared to a box office ticket or book.
Microsoft also included a free 48-hour trial with every
copy of Halo 3, which is likely a
driving factor behind September 25 being the busiest day in Xbox Live history.
One million Halo 3 players logged
onto Xbox Live to play either cooperatively or competitively.
"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."
out-of-the-gate success could be attributed to the wide availability of the
title immediately at launch. More than 10,000 retailers hosted midnight events
to celebrate the launch of this third installment in the billion-dollar
franchise. Non-conventional retail locations such as the 7-11 convenience store
chain also sold Halo 3, along with
appropriately themed Slurpee cups.
Some of the $170 million were assured even before the game
launched. More than 1.7 million copies of Halo
3 were pre-ordered in the U.S. before a single store opened its doors at
midnight, helping to make it the fasting pre-selling
game in history.