Microsoft and 343 Industries, the developer behind the game, have confirmed that Halo 4 is on track to reach $300 million in sales worldwide in its first week of release, making it not only the most successful Halo launch to date., but also the biggest entertainment launch of the year to date. Sales of the game on its first day of release made more than $220 million internationally, breaking the first-day box office takes of such popular movies as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and Marvel’s The Avengers on its domestic gross alone.
According to GameStop president Tony Bartel, Halo 4 had the largest Halo launch in the store’s history, as well as the biggest game launch on any platform of the year. “Consumer demand and excitement for Halo 4 is even greater than we anticipated,” he reported. Part of that demand may be coming from the game’s impressive reviews pre-release, with the game becoming one of the most highly-rated games before it hit stores on November 6 last week (According to the Hollywood Reporter, more than 10,000 stores across the world opened their doors at midnight to celebrate the game’s release, with outlets in London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and Seattle taking part in the promotion).
“We’re thrilled that Halo 4 has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year,” the corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, Phil Spencer, told the Hollywood Reporter. “Thanks to the millions of fans worldwide who helped make this another record-breaking launch for the Halo franchise, Halo 4 is kicking off a strong holiday season and has become the must-have blockbuster experience of the year.”
The success of Halo 4‘s launch means that the Halo franchise will have made more than $3.38 billion, with the newest installment breaking the record for the largest number of players in the series’ history: An estimated 4 million players will have started the game in its first week of release, with the collective userbase playing a total of 31.4 million hours during that time – Another record for the franchise, and an amount that will push the collective time spent playing any of the Halo games to a truly staggering five billion hours of amassed gameplay.
(Demonstrating even further the advantage of this interest, Microsoft has also announced that views for the accompanying Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn digital series have totalled 46 million to date.)
It’ll remain to be seen how long Halo 4 can hold onto all these plaudits, however; after all, Activision’s Call of Duty: Black Ops II is released tomorrow, and that game is already anticipated to break sales records. Good news for the gaming industry… But maybe not such good news for Microsoft’s moment of glory.