Yup...it's big. How big? The "Halo" saga eclipses the biggest movie launch in U.S. box office history; on track to reach over $300 million in global sales in the first week. Full details just went out in the press release:
In a year when Hollywood is rolling out its biggest blockbusters, one video game has eclipsed them all. "Halo 4" is on track to reach $300 million in global sales in the first week, making it the biggest "Halo" launch in history and the biggest entertainment launch of the year to date. In the first 24 hours of its release, "Halo 4" garnered more than $220 million worldwide, eclipsing the record for the biggest day-one opening in U.S. box office history, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," and the biggest movie of 2012, "The Avengers" - based on U.S. sales alone.
The launch of "Halo 4" propelled lifetime sales for the "Halo" franchise beyond $3.38 billion, cementing its status as one of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world. "Halo 4" also shattered the record for the largest number of players in the history of the "Halo" franchise, with over 4 million players in the first five days. Users spent a total of 31.4 million hours playing "Halo 4," pushing the total number of gameplay hours across the "Halo" franchise well beyond the five billion mark.
"We're thrilled that `Halo 4' has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. "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."
"Consumer demand and excitement for `Halo 4' is even greater than we anticipated," said Tony Bartel, GameStop president. "Day-one sales of `Halo 4' make it the biggest `Halo' launch in GameStop history and the biggest game launch on any platform so far this year in our stores."
As further testament to the unprecedented excitement surrounding the launch of "Halo 4," Microsoft announced that online content for the live-action digital series, "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn" has generated more than 46 million total views to date, including 39 million on Machinima.com's YouTube channel alone.
Hailed by NBC News as "breathtaking, heart-breaking and awe-inspiring,"1 "Halo 4" has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012,2 and sparked a worldwide celebration when it released on Nov. 6. More than 10,000 retail stores in more than 40 countries worldwide, including Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney, opened their doors at midnight to commemorate the highly anticipated return of the Master Chief. In London, a massive 50-foot illuminated glyph symbolizing the new threat in "Halo 4" flew over the River Thames, marking one of the largest objects ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. Additionally, for one day only, Microsoft transformed the European country of Liechtenstein into a replica of the "Halo" universe, signifying the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch.
Developed by Microsoft studio 343 Industries exclusively for the Xbox 360, "Halo 4" is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. "Halo 4" continues the story of the series' iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe.
The game takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it - setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.