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Halo 3 continues to deliver for Bungie, Microsoft

Everyone knew that Halo 3 would be a blockbuster for Microsoft. The game was hyped to no end and developers at Bungie even acknowledged that their efforts with Halo 2 weren't the greatest and that Halo 3 would right all of those wrongs.

Halo 3 lived up to the hype and recorded first-day sales of over $170 million USD and garnered nearly universal praise.

"Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon," said Shane Kim of Microsoft's 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."

Microsoft is once again playing the numbers game and today announced that Halo 3's first-week sales broke the $300 million USD mark. In addition, retailers are reporting the sales of the Xbox 360 console roughly doubled during the first week of Halo 3 availability.

Moreover, almost one-third of players on Xbox Live during launch day were playing Halo 3. Halo 3 players recorded over 3.6 million hours of online play during the first 24 hours of availability and over 40 million hours during the first week of availability.

"Halo is truly a cultural phenomenon, and the launch of Halo 3 is an important milestone for Xbox 360 and for video games as entertainment and as an art form," said Microsoft founder Bill Gates. "Halo 3 embodies our vision for the future of entertainment, where some of the world's greatest creative minds will deliver a new generation of interactive storytelling."

Halo 3 is available in three versions: Standard Edition ($59.99), Limited Edition ($69.99) and Legendary Edition ($129.99).



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Marketing
By augiem on 10/4/2007 1:15:07 PM , Rating: 4
It's funny to think back to the days of pre Halo 1 when the marketing and hype around the game was so different. Back then, the hype was intense, yes, but it was all done through different channels. They built up the hype in a more behind-the-scenes, viral marketing method and marketed the game primarily at enthusiasts. The gaming press worshipped the game years before it ever saw the light of day, but we didn't see it really become part of pop-culture like Halo 3 has. Today Halo is a recognizable brand/franchise around the world and their marketing scheme has shifted to the standard blockbuster movie model with all their Game Fuel, car promos, fast food junk toys, etc. They've moved from targeting the gaming enthusiast to targeting the entire joe-blow entertainment market using tried and true (and trite!) marketing tools.

Microsoft is a marketing genius. Everyone else will follow their lead, and soon. The summer blockbuster season for movies has become the christmas blockbuster season for games. We are truely now firmly in the era of Blockbuster gaming. Gaming is and will continue to look to the movie industry for guidance on how to rake in the most cash from the biggest possible audience.(marketing methods, storylines, merchandising, advertising woven into the story, etc) Whether you love it or hate it, it's here, and MS was a pioneer. It's the new hollywood, and it's only going to get BIGGER.

I just wish game developers over the last 10-15 years had taken more pride in their art instead of constantly looking at movies as the shining example of what gaming should become. (People in the game industry always had a feeling of playing 2nd fiddle to the movie people, as if their art wasn't valid in and of itself.) The two worlds used to be so different and unique, but now look at them. Oh well. Money wins.




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