November 12th 2012 12:30 pm PT

“Halo 4” Makes Entertainment History with More Than $220 Million in Global Sales in the First 24 Hours

Yup…it’s big. How big? The “Halo” saga eclipses the biggest movie launch in U.S. box office history; on track to reach over $300 million in global sales in the first week. Full details just went out in the press release:


In a year when Hollywood is rolling out its biggest blockbusters, one video game has eclipsed them all. “Halo 4” is on track to reach $300 million in global sales in the first week, making it the biggest “Halo” launch in history and the biggest entertainment launch of the year to date. In the first 24 hours of its release, “Halo 4” garnered more than $220 million worldwide, eclipsing the record for the biggest day-one opening in U.S. box office history, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” and the biggest movie of 2012, “The Avengers” – based on U.S. sales alone.

The launch of “Halo 4” propelled lifetime sales for the “Halo” franchise beyond $3.38 billion, cementing its status as one of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world. “Halo 4” also shattered the record for the largest number of players in the history of the “Halo” franchise, with over 4 million players in the first five days. Users spent a total of 31.4 million hours playing “Halo 4,” pushing the total number of gameplay hours across the “Halo” franchise well beyond the five billion mark.

“We’re thrilled that ‘Halo 4’ has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Thanks to the millions of fans worldwide who helped make this another record-breaking launch for the ‘Halo’ franchise, ‘Halo 4’ is kicking off a strong holiday season and has become the must-have blockbuster experience of the year.”

“Consumer demand and excitement for ‘Halo 4’ is even greater than we anticipated,” said Tony Bartel, GameStop president. “Day-one sales of ‘Halo 4’ make it the biggest ‘Halo’ launch in GameStop history and the biggest game launch on any platform so far this year in our stores.”

As further testament to the unprecedented excitement surrounding the launch of “Halo 4,” Microsoft announced that online content for the live-action digital series, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” has generated more than 46 million total views to date, including 39 million on’s YouTube channel alone.

Hailed by NBC News as “breathtaking, heart-breaking and awe-inspiring,”1 “Halo 4” has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012,2 and sparked a worldwide celebration when it released on Nov. 6. More than 10,000 retail stores in more than 40 countries worldwide, including Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney, opened their doors at midnight to commemorate the highly anticipated return of the Master Chief. In London, a massive 50-foot illuminated glyph symbolizing the new threat in “Halo 4” flew over the River Thames, marking one of the largest objects ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. Additionally, for one day only, Microsoft transformed the European country of Liechtenstein into a replica of the “Halo” universe, signifying the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch.

Developed by Microsoft studio 343 Industries exclusively for the Xbox 360, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe.

The game takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

The standard edition of “Halo 4” will be available for $59.99 (U.S. ERP 3), and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, will be available for $99.99 (U.S. ERP). Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for $399.99 (U.S. ERP) and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for $59.99 (U.S. ERP). In addition, players can purchase the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass for $24.99 USD (2,000 Microsoft Points), which provides access to three upcoming War Games map packs as they become available in December, February and April, and represents a savings of more than 15 percent versus purchasing the packs individually. 4


1 Source: NBC News: “Halo 4” makes the Halo series even more epic

2 As of Nov. 1, 2012. Source:

3 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.

4 Savings based on estimated retail prices. Actual retailer prices may vary. Content includes “Crimson, Majestic & Castle Map Packs” plus 2 in-game helmets and an emblem at a special value. If you own this Map Pass, access map packs thru the Halo 4 in-game store. Do not download from Xbox LIVE Marketplace or you will be charged twice. Halo 4 game, 4GB storage, & Xbox LIVE Gold membership (each sold separately) required to use this content. (Map Pass included with Halo 4 Limited Edition.)

Halo By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • Jimmy

    Wow those are some amazing numbers!

    • Russell Gorall

      When you pick and choose what numbers to use even Duke Nukem Forever seems classic.

  • Emmanuel Santos

    and yet i still have to wait 15 days and dodge spoilers. damn you Iraq, let go of me there is much gaming to be had. This is a tough hobby to keep up with after high school

  • pharmassist

    That’s really great news for 343i and the team.
    I must admit, I was pretty skeptical about them, but Halo 4 definitely rocks.

    Congrats to everyone involved in the Halo 4 development process.

    • Russell Gorall

      On another average military shooter…

      • pharmassist

        you know, russell….
        it’s pretty darn obvious that you dislike halo 4 for whatever reason. I mean, I’ve seen you pretty much on all the negative reviews (quartertothree, to name one) dissing everyone who likes Halo 4 and praising the few reviewers who have given Halo 4 low scores.

        You literally responded to every incoming positive comment regarding Halo 4 with something distasteful from your end.

        I mean, if you have such a hard time liking Halo 4 and just dislike it, why do you even spend your time commenting on Halo 4 articles/reviews??

        Would not you rather spend your time doing something suited to your needs that you like??

  • eLbiChaN

    Halo is overrated, this is what the 6th game in the series? smh

    • Joe Wienclaw

      6th game in the series has nothing to do with being overrated.

      • Russell Gorall

        Saw 8.

    • uss_liberty

      I didn’t even like the first game. Let alone the others.

    • pharmassist

      hmm, ok. can you tell me why you think the franchise is overrated?

    • jose

      Wait you complain about 6 not including one u left out as there are 7. And CE anniversary that’s 8 games since 2001 the same amount as call of duty

      Yet you probably love COD that’s why you bash Halo. SMDH AT PEOPLE THESE DAYS

      • eLbiChaN

        I didn’t bash the game i just said its overrated, Halo is full of immature little kids same like COD.

    • Robbie Rob

      Mario has been around 30 years. The moronic comment you made basically implies if a game is successful enough to make it that long and far and earn millions of dedicated fans & make Billions of dollars ( not millions – Billions !) – that it now is somehow overrated by someone as yourself … Well thought out Einstein!! I don’t play COD and I wouldn’t call it overrated .. Nor would I Mario

  • NBA Kirkland

    Kinda funny how the MS press release uses Nov. 1st as the cutoff date for metacritic. That conveniently excludes the one review that gave it a 20(!).

    • Sam Taylor

      Considering they gave it 20% to give it 20% and no other reason, I see it as just cause.

    • Tylerh1701

      I’m no statistician, but I think most of them would disregard that 20/100 score anyway. It’s clearly an outlier

    • NBA Kirkland

      The point being they couldn’t claim “Halo 4 has garnered universal acclaim” unless they used a cutoff date before Nov. 4th.

      • Boe2

        Because they can’t use that statement if there is a negative review on metacritic?

        • NBA Kirkland

          I would say no they couldn’t. IMO, universal = all. But I suppose it is debatable. My dictionary actually has the phrase in it. Adjective: Applicable to or common to all members of a group or set, “the play opened to universal acclaim”

        • Russell Gorall

          Or a good review?

    • pharmassist

      have you read that 20 review??
      and the egm one?

      the first one is just hating to hate and for controversial clicks (just look at his uncharted review and other ones- generally, quarter to three reviews are always the reviews that pull down metacritic scores for tons of games)
      and that egm reviewer basically wanted an exact piece-by-piece replica of call of duty.

      metacritic should be ashamed to accept those websites’ reviews.

      • Russell Gorall

        Have you read the perfect reviews? Reviewed at Microsoft press events, which more reputable sites don’t even allow.

        • pharmassist

          yes, and they’re rational, unlike the lower-ended reviews. and they don’t complain about the lack of iron sights and michael-bay-esque cliched moments in a halo game. – literally the worst complaints I’ve ever read in halo reviews.

          • Russell Gorall

            Only the good reviews are rational? I hope you are being paid for these posts.

          • pharmassist

            lol, paid?
            is that really your response?

            I think I’m just going to ignore you now. Can’t take you seriously after such a pathetic accusation.

          • Russell Gorall

            Good comeback.

            Do you have anything to say about the topic?

          • Robbie Rob

            Lol.. I suppose good reviews are irrational for you? Like not liking the game based in the color of the game case that holds the disc, huh? Don’t get a job.. Stay on welfare cuz your likely to be fired

          • Russell Gorall

            Great English.

    • Robbie Rob

      And yet over 200 reviews average to a 92 metacritic.. But there’s always some ‘extreme’ views.. Even if you don’t like a game one ’20’ out of how many reviews doesn’t hold much credibility .. When you play the game and see the vast improvements its pretty amazing.. I hated oddball and now they actually made it kinda fun – you can pass the skull.. Lots of great ideas they used for H4

      • Russell Gorall

        87 on Metacritic.

        You are paid to say that.

        It has been 87 on Meta for several days…

  • Chris Grub

    I have no interest in these games but I will be interested to see how this stacks up against the Black Ops 2 launch with all the advertising campaigns between the two.

    I have a feeling this will be the big one of the year and Black Ops will be underwhelming.

    • Tylerh1701

      I too couldn’t care less about either game, but I do enjoy the economic side behind gaming. I have to disagree with you about BO2, I think it will easily double what Halo 4 did in its first week.

      • pharmassist

        well, duh. black ops 2 is on multiple platforms.
        halo serves just the xbox 360.

        • Tylerh1701

          Haha that’s an extremely good point. Not sure how I glossed over that originally. Downvoted myself for stupidity.

          • Chris Grub

            I’m more curious about XBOX based sales in total units. Also curious about same DLC purchases between them over the course of the next year.

            It’s nice to know that others are watching this too.

        • Robbie Rob

          Yeah 4 platforms .. And no other console has an exclusive FPS yet that outsells Halo. Halo sells consoles

    • Robbie Rob

      Hard to compare IMHO. MW / Black Ops 2 is on FOUR platforms .. WiU, PC, Xb360, & PS3… They are both shooters but Halo is built around the story of genetically superior kids bred to be soldiers and put into a 1000 pound suit of armor and still jump 6 feet in the air… And the game takes place in another world.. Blacks ops is much easier to kill someone because your shooting a soldiers as if it were real because the game is based off reality. Halo is one one platform and people played It on xbox live 2 yrs before PSN went live and long before MW

  • TonyLN

    Congrats to 343i and taking the franchise to the next level!

  • Sean

    I loved EVERY bit of Halo 4 and I cannot wait for the next 2 titles.

    • pharmassist

      i agree. the next two should be even better.
      343i is definitely a competent and fully defined studio now. while making halo 4, the studio was still being put together and assembled and they still managed to out such an incredibly great game.

      it can only get better from here on out.
      I just hope we get to fight on earth and possibly another halo ring in the future titles.

    • Russell Gorall

      When you expect little, you get little.

      I think you will love these pop titles of old IP’s MS can’t even get the original IP developer to publish.

      Yet, you buy them.

  • Russell Gorall

    An 87 Metacritic is the highest score for a 360 game this year?

  • HerrPie

    Soon to be eclipsed by The Hobbit. Zing!

  • BigBernard

    No thanks.

  • Deacon

    that’s a lot of dough :)

  • Bush O Connor

    Reach sold more on launch day, with halo 3 being the biggest selling halo in its first 24 hours.

    i think Reach left a bad taste in a lot of gamers mouths that scared them away from halo.
    i loved Reach too :)

  • Russell Gorall

    Apparently Microsoft has beef with Metacritic counting numbers a rational way. Only IGN, GameTrailers and Famitsu should count?

  • Russell Gorall


    What is your official stance on doctored Metacritic ratings you try to put out?

    I mean, your intent… was it orgasmic?

  • Russell Gorall

    If Black Ops 2 did $500 million in 24 hours, that means the previous COD’s must have done better than Halo 4.

    I still don’t see the story here, besides creating a flashpoint for Metacritic reviews whenever it benefits your product.