November is certainly a month for the major franchises. With gamers around the world having queued, currently queuing, or about to queue up for the special midnight release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II, the numbers are starting to trickle through with regards to last week’s release of Halo 4. In selling a reported 3.1 million copies of Halo 4 in the first 24 hours, the title also earned $220 million on day one, and with Microsoft tipping the global $300 million to have been surpassed by tomorrow, we’re looking at the biggest Halo launch in history.
Bungie had been behind the previous versions of Halo, and with Halo 4 being the first "proper" Halo title made by new developer 343 Industries, there were plenty of question marks as to whether the most famous Xbox exclusive could still yield the interest of consumers once more. While the gaming experience is certainly an subjective matter, the numbers do not lie, and with Microsoft estimating total earnings of around $3.38 billion for the entire Halo series, it’s fair to say the latest iteration has been a pretty resounding success.
The figures will of course be obliterated by the numbers of Black Ops II, but even so, Microsoft and 343i will still be fairly content with the early figures. The sales units of all franchise games tend to dwindle after the first 24 hours, with most of those wanting the title having queued up especially, but with the holiday season fast-approaching, there’s still plenty of scope for those numbers to increase.
Microsoft has been coy in dropping some exact figures, but has noted that 4 million gamers played on Xbox LIVE during the first five days, so we’d estimate somewhere between 4-4.25 million. It’s quite obvious Microsoft is giving itself a little pat on the back before Call of Duty commands all of the plaudits, with Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer noting of how pleased his company is that Halo 4 "has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year." Still, it’s a momentary victory, and with eleven years now passed since the Halo: Combat evolved first captured the imaginations of gamers the world over, it’s clear to see the franchise still has plenty of life in it yet.