Halo Reach rakes in $200 million on its first day

Halo: Reach MultiplayerMicrosoft says Halo: Reach, the latest installment of its Halo scifi combat franchise, brought in some $200 million on its first day of sales, making it the strongest launch of any game—or movie—so far in 2010. Speaking on the sidelines of the Tokyo Game show, Microsoft Game Studios vice president told Reuters Microsoft is very pleased with response to Halo: Reach, and that customers’ strong response to the game indicates that that video game industry is still in a healthy state as it leans into the end-of-year holiday season.

First day sales figures for Halo: Reach include pre-orders, which historically inflate the debut figures for top-selling titles, making their first week of sales artificially strong compared to sustained sales. However, in comparison, Microsoft’s previous Halo installment, Halo 3, racked up $300 million in sales during its first week.

Overall, Microsoft has relied heavily on the Halo franchise to propel its Xbox gaming console, having sold nearly 34 million Halo games since the first title debuted on the original Xbox console nearly a decade ago, accounting for nearly $2 billion in sales. Microsoft has repeatedly referred to Halo as a “pop-culture phenomena,” but despite undeniable success on the Xbox platform, the company has not capitalized on the franchise outside of the gaming console market. Efforts to launch a Halo movie with Peter Jackson at the helm fizzled out, although the project did unexpectedly morph into the sci-fi Best Picture nominee District 9.

Microsoft is not skimping on the price tags for Halo: Reach, however: the game is available in three editions on sale for $60, $80, and $150 (Legendary Edition), and is also offering a special Xbox 360 console with the game for $400.

Update: 9/16/2010: Changed the price of the Legendary Edition from $250 to $150

Make sure you check out our Halo: Reach Review.