It’s official: the “Halo” video game franchise has made history once again. Microsoft today announced that “Halo: Reach” generated more than $200 million in sales in the United States and Europe in the first 24 hours of its release. Based on U.S. sales alone, “Halo: Reach” is now the biggest entertainment launch of 2010 in the U.S., eclipsing the three-day opening weekends of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters like “Iron Man 2,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Toy Story 3” in a single day.
“‘Halo: Reach’ is the biggest game Microsoft has ever released, and its launch has already surpassed every game, movie and entertainment launch this year,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Every major installment has grown in scope and popularity, firmly cementing the ‘Halo’ franchise as one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world over the past decade.”
The blockbuster prequel to the “Halo” trilogy, “Halo: Reach” tells the tragic and heroic story of Noble Team, a group of Spartans, who through great sacrifice and courage saved countless lives in the face of impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. The legendary battle of Reach will set into motion one of the most iconic sagas in entertainment history.
Tens of thousands of retail stores around the world hosted midnight madness events on Monday night to celebrate the arrival of “Halo: Reach,” the biggest installment yet in the blockbuster franchise hailed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most popular video game series of all time. In cities around the world including London, New York City and Seattle, Microsoft and retailers hosted marquee launch events where thousands of fans gathered to compete in tournaments, win special prizes and meet the creators of the “Halo” universe. At the new Best Buy Theater in Times Square, several hundred lucky fans also witnessed a surprise musical performance by hip-hop sensation Kid Cudi.
“Consumer demand for ‘Halo: Reach’ has been phenomenal, as we saw Monday night at the new Best Buy Theater in New York’s Times Square and at more than 400 Best Buy stores across the U.S.,” said Chris Homeister, senior vice president and general manager of the home entertainment group at Best Buy.
The “Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that have grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has since inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more.