Microsoft’s Little Angel: Let’s Just Call it “Halo”

You may have heard by now that Halo 4, the uber-popular video game produced by Microsoft, took in a small fortune in its first 24 hours on sale. While the rest of us were out voting last Tuesday, Halo 4 was raking in $220 million, or the amount that Disney’s successful Wall-E took in after 28 weeks in theaters.

Let’s all ask the question that’s on the mind of non-gamers like myself: What the heck?

To begin, we’ll look at some stats, as reported by The L.A. Times:

  • Microsoft projects “Halo 4” will generate more than $300 million of sales in its first week.
  • More than 4 million people played the game in its first five days, devoting more than 31.4 million hours (some copies of “Halo 4” may have been played by multiple people).
  • Microsoft also said that episodes of a companion live action series it produced, titled “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” have been viewed more than 46 million times online.

Sometimes, amidst all the lucrative movies and television, it’s easy to overlook the draw of the gamer market. But it’s loud and alive, as proven by big releases such as this.


What makes Halo 4 such a draw? Microsoft certainly did a boastful job in promoting the release. A Halo glyph display of more than 113,000 LED lights and 50 feet in diameter flew over the Thames River in London last week, attached to the company helicopter and visible for miles. Tell me that wouldn’t get your attention!

Before Microsoft breaks out the champagne to toast this record-breaking success, I’d take a second to consider the month: with the holiday season upon us, shoppers will be looking for gifts, deals, and retail appeals. The all-time record for highest sales by a video game on its debut day is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which bowed at $400 million in 2011.

The latest Call of Duty, Black Ops 2, hits stores today. Is that a record I hear smashing in the background?


One thought on “Microsoft’s Little Angel: Let’s Just Call it “Halo”

  1. The main difference is that Microsoft just do not care if Call of Duty sells more than Halo because they will end up getting more profit from Halo 4 than Black Ops 2. Call of Duty is a third party multi-platform game so Microsoft only get a percentage of the profits for the Xbox 360 sales of the game. Halo 4 is first party, owned and produced by Microsoft. It is exclusive to the Xbox 360 and any profit made goes back into Microsoft’s pockets.

    Halo 4 making $300 million in a week is a much bigger deal to Microsoft (and many in the industry) than Modern Warfare 3 making $400 million in one day because it is a game that is only available on one platform. Call of Duty is made and sold for every platform there is and because of this it enjoys a very strong (and well deserved) market position.

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