I like the Halo series: it’s a decent first person shooter game with a better than average story. I played the original Halo on the PC and Halo 2 on the XBox. I haven’t bought Halo 3 for the XBox 360, but I probably will someday soon. I’d probably rate both of the first two Halos at somewhere between 7 and 8 out of 10. Good solid games, nothing earth-shattering, but fun.
But I just have to shake my head in stunned disbelief at the sales stats for Halo 3. It was released on September 25th. Over $170 million dollars in Halo 3 sales were racked up in the first 24 hours…over $300 million in the first week. Over three million Halo 3 players are logging in to play the game on line each day.
Those numbers are pretty staggering to me. I remember when computer games were considered a niche industry: now we have single games that generate more revenue in a single day than triple A movies. I’m guessing that Halo 3 might top a billion in sales over the next year…for a single game, on a single platform (Halo 3 is currently an XBox 360 exclusive).
I was doubtful when I first heard that Halo 3 was expected by some to push huge volumes of XBox 360 sales. Now I’m not so sure- if 5 million people bought Halo 3 in the first week, some of those have to be buying the game console to go with it. Heck, there were only 11 million or so XBox 360s out there before Halo 3 shipped.
An interesting side note: the company that developed Halo 3, Bungee, has parted ways with Microsoft. They were a wholly-owned subsidiary of MS since 2000. Apparently, the separation was on good terms, Microsoft retains an equity stake in Bungee as well as rights both to future Halo releases and right of first refusal for any new titles Bungee may develop. Some folks even believe this split is good news for both Microsoft and Bungee. Bungee apparently wanted more creative freedom, and the rumour is that Halo 3 is the last Halo they want to make.