Proving once again that video games can be blockbusters, too, gamers were lined up at retail outlets across the country for today’s midnight release of Halo 2, the eagerly awaited sequel to Microsoft’s hugely successful 2000 first-person shooter. More than 1.5 million copies of the Xbox title were pre-sold and first-day sales could reach as high as $90 million, which is more money than any feature film has made in its first day of release.
Bungie Studios, part of Microsoft Game Studios, developed the Best of E3-winning sequel in which Master Chief, a genetically enhanced super soldier, is the only thing standing between the relentless Covenant and the destruction of all humankind.
Over then next few days, Halo 2 will launch globally at more than 1,125 retail outlets around the world, including stores in London, Seoul, Toronto and Sydney. The game will be translated into seven languages and distributed in 27 countries.
According to Peter Moore, corporate VP of worldwide publishing and marketing for Xbox, Halo 2 is expected to have the biggest 24 hours for a video game in retail history. There was even anticipation of a ‘Halo 2 flu’ outbreak today as gamers ditch work to stay home and play.
Developed exclusively Xbox, original Halo has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide and spawned a legion of devotees who participate in competitions, tournaments and game nights. Those festivities are sure to increase as players go online via Xbox Live and enjoy the new game with competitors near and far.