Patched up Halo 2 flogs five million

In the old days, a programmer's job was done the moment those CD presses started rolling. Once the last zero or one was dropped into place, the poor mole-eyed nerd was allowed all the things that had been denied him (or her) for the previous six months - such as daylight, human contact and soap.

But no more. These days the reeking geeks have to stay in for another six months after the game hits the shelves to add all manner of patches, mods and multiplayer gubbins. But while the spectacled spods suffer, we are the ones who gain. Particularly when the coders in question are from Bungie because, once again, the devoted developer has been beavering away behind the scenes to improve Halo 2.

Their latest tinkering has seen the team improve the multiplayer lists on Xbox Live. The move means that the Foundation map comes into online play, along with the new Team Slayer and Rumble Training options. Big Team Battles have been updated to include eight mates while the Major Clan Matches should be less imbalanced. And to experience all the tweaks and glitch fixing, all you need to do is log on again to Live and play away.

But there should be some reward for those boys at Bungie (the ones on royalties, at least) because the return of the Master Chief has already shifted an incredible five million copies. Which isn't bad considering the original Halo has only sold one million more than that in all the time it's been out on PC and Xbox.