Microsoft last night revealed that the latest edition in its popular Halo franchise surpassed more than US$300m in its first week — making it the fastest-selling video game in history.
An estimated 2.7 million gamers have played Halo 3 on Xbox Live in the past week — nearly one-third of the total Live community.
As well as this, retailers worldwide have reported that Xbox 360 console sales have doubled on the weekly average prior to Halo 3‘s launch.
Developed by Bungie Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, Halo 3 is the conclusion to the epic trilogy and continues the story of Master Chief as he battles the alien horde known as the Covenant and saves mankind.
Halo 3 was released in 37 countries and in 17 languages and was described by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates last night as a cultural phenomenon that sets an important milestone for the Xbox 360 as well as video gaming as an art form.
“Halo 3 embodies our vision for the future of entertainment, where some of the world’s greatest creative minds will deliver a new generation of interactive storytelling,” said Gates.
Within the first day of its launch, Halo 3 players worldwide racked up more than 3.6 million hours of online gameplay, which increased more than 11-fold to 40 million users by the end of the first week, representing more than 4,500 years of continuous gameplay.
Since Halo 3 launched, gamers have unlocked nearly 30 million achievements. In its first week alone, Halo 3 drove a record number of Xbox Live Gold Memberships as hundreds of thousands of new members gathered online with friends, family members and other gamers around the world to collectively compete and complete the game.
By John Kennedy