Halo 2 clocks up US$125m in first 24 hours

11 Nov 2004

The long-awaited first person shooter from Microsoft that went on sale yesterday has already broke entertainment retail records in its first 24 hours. Microsoft Games Studios revealed that the game sold 2.4m units in the US and Canada alone, bringing in cash register receipts worth US$125m.

The new game for the Microsoft Xbox has now been described as more than a game, but a popular culture phenomenon. It is estimated that Halo 2 has generated more money on day one than any of the biggest movies in box office history, including Spider Man 2, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Matrix Reloaded.

“The first 24 hours of Halo 2 sales have taken our breath away,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice-president of worldwide marketing and publishing, Xbox. “Across North America, 2.4 million copies of the game were sold through, representing US$125m in total cash register receipts for retailers. It’s no longer just a huge game for us but has become a seminal milestone for the entire industry.”

Halo 2 expands on everything that made the original game popular, plus it adds a wealth of technological and gameplay advances. Significantly improved graphics, enhanced artificial intelligence (AI), an advanced real-time lighting engine and destructible interactive environments are just a small part of Halo 2’s evolution of design and technology. Every improvement in Halo 2 is designed to take gameplay to a new level – and in the end, to tell a more compelling story.

Originally, it was estimated that the new game would bring in U$80m in its first two days, vastly ahead of Grand Theft Auto – San Andreas, which itself smashed all previous gaming record bringing in US$37m in its first day.

By John Kennedy