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Microsoft and developer 343 Industries get to celebrate a record Halo 4 launch for a day — before Activision and developer Treyarch are expected to break sales records with the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops II on Nov. 13.
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.
Buoyed by critical praise, Halo 4 has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012, 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.
David Fincher produced the Halo 4 launch commercial with director Tim Miller.
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