If someone had told us that Macworld 1999 would herald the launch of a game that would go on to spearhead Microsoft’s push into the console games market, we would have demanded to know what they were drinking, and where the hell we could get some. And yet on July 21st, 1999, in front of a lot of very pretty but functionally incapable artists who believe Microsoft should be written with a dollar sign (only joking, Mac fellows!), Myth developer Bungie stood up and announced what would go on to become Halo: Combat Evolved, the most popular Xbox game there is, and one of the most talked about games in living memory. On Monday, Microsoft announced that Halo has sold more than three million copies worldwide.
Halo launched alongside the Xbox in November 2001 in the US, February 2002 in Japan and on March 14th, 2002 in Europe. It was so popular that it didn’t take long for eager hackers to piece together unsupported online multiplayer options – something that the generally protective Microsoft was only too happy to allow to flourish. Halo is currently being ported to the PC by Gearbox (famed for their work on Half-Life expansion Opposing Force) with a range of multiplayer improvements and new toys, and the highly anticipated Halo 2, which will introduce melee weapons and bring the fight against the Covenant to the cities of Earth, is due out in early 2004.