Sept 27, 2007
The Bungie-developed Xbox 360 game officially launched stateside on Tuesday, September 25 in the midst of some of the largest doses of hype the industry has ever seen.
Earlier reports have stated Microsoft expected day one sales of "just" $155 million. By comparison, Halo 2 generated $125 million in day one sales.
In the first 20 hours of the game's release, over 1 million Xbox Live users have played Halo 3 online, making the game's release day the "most active Xbox Live gaming day in history," according to Microsoft.
Retail giants GameStop and Best Buy are predictably ecstatic with the results.
GameStop senior VP of merchandising Bob McKenzie said in a statement, "With consumer demand for Halo 3 and related products, we expect it to be the biggest video game title generator in GameStop's history."
Best Buy VP of movies and games Jill Hamburger called the initial demand for Halo 3 "astounding," adding, "the game is on track to become the number one gaming title of all time."
The game had pre-orders of over 1.7 million copies in the US.
Halo 3 is a game that could've sold loads of copies based on its name alone, but Microsoft has executed a formidable marketing campaign that has infiltrated consumer psyches to drive the point home. The TV ad campaign alone cost Microsoft $10 million.
The company line touts the game as "the biggest day in entertainment history," as Halo 3's $170 million day one sales surpassed Spider-Man 3's opening weekend box office revenue of $151 million.
But even Microsoft will admit that the comparison isn't apples to apples-a movie ticket may cost around $10, while a standard copy of Halo 3 runs $60, with the Legendary Edition chiming in at $130.
Regardless, $170 million is $170 million no matter how you cut it, and in addition to stellar reviews, you can't really blame Microsoft for wanting to toot its own horn about Master Chief's latest outing.