1 million Halo Wars waged

Massive fan base for Microsoft's sci-fi franchise makes Ensemble Studios' 360-exclusive swan song go platinum in less than three weeks.

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In less than three weeks, Halo Wars has gone platinum. This morning, Microsoft announced that the real-time strategy spin-off of its sci-fi shooter phenomenon had sold--not shipped--more than 1 million copies worldwide. Available in both regular and limited editions, the T-for-Teen game launched on February 26 in Asia, February 27 in Europe, and March 3 in North America.

The 118 Years' War

Halo Wars' success came in spite of a lukewarm reception from critics. Little wonder, then, that Microsoft was eager to play up its popularity with the masses, courtesy of a statistics site. To date, more than 2.6 million multiplayer matches have been played, totaling more than 118 years of game time. The software giant also announced that an average of 200,000 people play the game daily.

Today's announcement must be bittersweet for the former employees of Ensemble Studios. Halo Wars was the Microsoft-owned shop's final project, closing out a 14-year run that saw it launch the acclaimed Age of Empires RTS series and its fantastical sibling, Age of Mythology.

At the recent DICE Summit in Las Vegas, Ensemble cofounder Bruce Shelley was honored during the 11th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards. During an earlier presentation, he reflected on his shop's rise and fall, the latter of which he attributed partly to overexpansion to work on several canceled projects. One of the stillborn games is rumored to have been a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Halo Universe.

Discussion

270 comments
killzonexbox
killzonexbox

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

jknight5422
jknight5422

Looks like the critics were wrong. The customers have spoken.

okassar
okassar

My brother just surprised me with this as a birthday gift earlier today,love it:)

bballabarry
bballabarry

lol are they seriously gonna tell us everytime any game of halo reaches a certain amount of matches played?

carp93
carp93

Wow Gamespot.... Critic score: 8.2 User score: 8.0 Gamespot score: 6.5 Methinks you have your information wrong, because if you average those, Halo War's score is 7.6, which, by your own rating system, is good, not "lukewarm"...

Infinite_Access
Infinite_Access

Good Job Ensemble... sad to see you guys going.. made some of the best games.

funnysplay
funnysplay

-Lord arya1- Im a huge halo fan, have been since halo one first came out. And i didn't like halo wars much at all, got boring real fast. I enjoyed the cutsceens and story though. Still wish i could get my money back on it, however my bro helped me buy it and he insists we keep it. Halo wars is not for RTS fans and only average for halo fans, rent before you buy.

EE2lemmonhead
EE2lemmonhead

why is this in the PC news...i dont want to hear about this garbage

LucASPrime
LucASPrime

If Halo Wars is such a success it means it will appear on PC as well to please millions of RTS fans still mourning after Ensemble Studios vanished?

lord_arya1
lord_arya1

halo wars is amazing!!! gamespot doesnt get that it isnt meant for every RTS player.. its meant for halo fans to add to the halo story!!! to make understanding things easier!!! it is and always was a game meant for a specific target audience....

OhSnapitz
OhSnapitz

Critics score (59 reviews) = 8.2 Gamespot Score = 6.5 How exactly is that a "lukewarm" reception from critics..

slayersdeath200
slayersdeath200

I personally loved Halo wars it kept true to the story and it had good gameplay, i still prefer C&C but Halo wars is a top RTS and deserves better than a 6.5 shame on GameSpot

aura_enchanted
aura_enchanted

its and okay title but there just not enough meat here to serve it at dinner XD

SuperGogeta24
SuperGogeta24

so i clicked this news link and expected to find the immaturity that i can see right now... halo wars is a great game for ensemble to have as their final creation, although it may not satisfy some tastes, it did mine.

THORINATOR
THORINATOR

I'm well impressed with Halo wars, i know for a strategy game the build & command system has been watered down but it still provides an entertaining game that stays true to the Halo universe!

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

bojan_sokol
bojan_sokol

Imo this game is for RTS noobs, play on PC real chalenging RTS game

BladeTrinity114
BladeTrinity114

StarlightHunter, your comment has just proven how pathetic you really are. Your tiny pathetic brain couldn't even process a meaningful comment other than showing your fanboy-ism. And as for Halo Wars, it has shamed such a great game, as I think that all that was in Microsoft's minds when making this game was cashing in on a project that they knew everyone would buy.

omegakie
omegakie

Halo wars deserves this It's a brilliant game with lots of replay this and Gears of War 2 are my most played games at the moment.

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

yep but it proves that halo is popular. dont be jelious sony fanboys just becasue no one goes on about mgs4 or lamezone 2 and little big planet. lol @ little big planet.

modem22
modem22

The only reason it sold so well was because it had HALO on its name nothing else matters. Its still and stripped-down console rts and there are 1000 better Rts games than this one.

Karmazyn
Karmazyn

I like the gameplay but the campaign is too short and there is no campaign for the opposing site so I won't be investing money in it...for now at least.

Gov1
Gov1

Just accept that no game is perfect and the scores on this or any site and mag are just the opinions of other people, make your own minds up ^^

metalgear-solid
metalgear-solid

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

XXL2
XXL2

wtf dunno how they could give it 6.5.. and i'm with sony all the way... tbh i'm always glad when s ps3 game gets a good score and review... but they shouldnt be biased... this game is definitely better than 6.5

StarlightHunter
StarlightHunter

n3ck. mgs4 dosent deserve a perfect 10. wtf is with the 5 hour long cutsecenes between acts about i found it boring to be honest. its just overrated. everytime something comes out for the 360, this site bashes it so much and then you get the pompass ps3 fanbois giving it their pennys worth. the 6.5 this site gave halo wars is unacceptable.

n3ck
n3ck

Gamespot gets paid for reviews(SEE KAIN AND LYNCH review), and has no integrity, right now they are trying to win over the sony fanboys to this site, giving Halo wars 6.5 was a terrible review, as was giving MGS4 a perfect 10, since Jeff and the crew have left for Giantbomb.com this site has become so lame, i only check it for news and find the reviews absolute garbage.

vaibhavp
vaibhavp

what? this makes me want ps3 even more. on what basis do xbox 360 games sell and have so high sale figure. in this case, certainly not for quality.

Irishmandkg
Irishmandkg

I first started out on the xbox 1, halo was my favorite game. But after a while nothing new ever happened and it got boring. And yes I have played both gears, and they both sucked, terrible story, overly macho men running around and shooting aliens......never heard of a story like that before, maybe u are the one who has never played any great games such as metal gear, super mario bros, kingdom hearts, ff, jade empire, diablo, and all of the other great games that i have played......yes i play good games, but obviously, since u are quick to judge, u must be nothing more than an xbox fanboy.

Ace237
Ace237

While 8.2 might not be the standard for Platinum games, I would hardly call it lukewarn. For a console RTS to do so well when so many before it have failed is impressive, "lukewarm" or not.

maccer101
maccer101

kind of a surprise and it kinda isn't, on one hand its not a great game at all on the other there's lots of halo fans out there..

Ninja-Hippo
Ninja-Hippo

To say 'in spite of a luke warm reaction from critics' is bending the truth to the point of outright-lying. It received a great reception from critics. Gamespot's poor review was in the vast minority. Poor show guys.

mr0806
mr0806

Seeing how whether the game is good or not clearly depends on the person playing it not the opinion of the masses I'm going to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the game despite its faults (which every game has) and I believe it added to the story line and added a knew fan base to the halo games and many of the halo fans that haven't played RTS games may think again and try out some new game so even though it may SUCK or be GREAT in some peoples eyes, you can surely see it as a positive introduction to the gaming community and if not your just a simple minded fanboy... "let the criticism begin"!!!

RyantheHedgehog
RyantheHedgehog

woo go us fan boyes we win suck on that cod (i like cod 2 aswell:D)

BUCK3TM4N
BUCK3TM4N

that was faster then i expected

klugenbeel
klugenbeel

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Hadesblade7
Hadesblade7

With the new Games for Window Live I think they should make Halo Wars for the computer because GfWL connects to Xbox as well. Why do I think this....I can't afford to get 360 then all of the Halo games

DarthEthong467
DarthEthong467

I love RTS and I love FPS. Really, I prefer both on the PC but I can get along with an FPS on a console. RTS games though will never make it on the console UNLESS they are as simplified as Halo Wars. Anyone here who thinks Halo Wars is not a simplified RTS has never played Total War, World in Conflict, Command and Conquer, or Age of Empires just to name a few. Halo Wars still has a lot of untapped potential that it will never see used while on a console. Sure its fun, but to a serious RTS gamer like me, everytime I play it I can't help but think of what could have been. Its great to see Ensemble go out with such a great game, but its bittersweet to see that game be on a console.

Spybreak
Spybreak

Mind as well go out with a bang, RIP Ensemble. I feel the game's controls, story, gameplay, cutscenes, skulls, and multiplayer are all welcome goodness to the Halo universe while feeling fresh for a RTS. The inclusion of the mythic map pack probably had a big role in this number but bottom line is this is a good game.

Intrakitt
Intrakitt

It's funny how they posted the link "a lukewarm reception from critics" that went to Halo Wars and it's 6.5 rating but they didn't bother to post a link to Age of Empires, which was an "acclaimed" title even though Gamespot gave it a shameful 6.8. Hmmm...

DarthMenen
DarthMenen

I would really not trust the review GameSpot gave this as even though the game is extremely simplified for both the console and new players, if you watched the gameplay marathon, the people thye had playing didn't have the faintest idea how to play an RTS. They just tried to bull through the map, essentially clicking into the middle of the enemy. The fact that they died is proof that the strategy element is not completely gone. However i haven't played the game myself so I can't really judge it for myself, but considering the Critic reviews average was much higher, I'm more likely to go with that score as those people are likely to be more competent than the GameSpot reviewers.

DarkNeoBahamut
DarkNeoBahamut

have you considering that many people got the game thinking it was a FPS like the previous Halo and not a RTS game?. I can't believe people say this game is the best RTS on "consoles", C&C is for consoles too and it's much better.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

@people complaining about GS review: did you see the Gameplay marathon? dam those guys had no idea how to play this game..... also yeah stop comparing console RTS to PC ones.. also Lotr BfME was great

larryb007
larryb007

there sure is a lot of crying fanboys in here right now. Why would you get this worked up over a game that sold 1 million. grow up a little !

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

@bat725 so the fact that it was intended to be an ultra dumb rts (which in itself is kind of pointless because its a STRATEGY game, its not supposed to be simplified and dumb lol) makes its ok? By your logic I can go make a game in 30 seconds and charge people 60 bucks for it but it should still get high scores simply because I intended for it to be bad. I don't care if it was made for rts noobs, it should be graded on how "good" it is (which would involve how deep and engrossing the strategic gameplay is yes?) and not given a free high score simply because the developers intended for the game to be simple. retarded.

Tallwhitemocha
Tallwhitemocha

Here's a theory I've been mulling over. The recent trend by Gamespot to low ball their reviews might be a response to giving games like Halo 3, Gears of War 2 and GTA IV near perfect or perfect scores and then realizing that they were hasty in those reviews. Halo 3's campaign was easy, boring and unimaginative. It's multi-player and it's map making ability was the only note-worthy part of the game. Gears of War 2's campaign was just as bad (relative to the innovative nature of the first game) as Halo 3 but unlike Halo 3 GoW 2's multi-player was broken. I found very little enjoyment with the campaign in GTA IV with it's broken logic and the same old same oldness of the game play as the previous incarnations. And while the multi-player component was fun at first, I quickly lost interest. These are of course just my opinions on the games and mere speculation as to the motives behind Gamespots recent ranking system. But who knows...

HardcoreBunni
HardcoreBunni

This really doesn't surprise me since Halo Wars was aimed at Halo fans and since most of them don't play REAL RTS's like Medieval 2, Empire:Total War or Rise of Nations they think Halo Wars is teh epicness. It isn't, and it's well worth the 6.5 gamespot awarded it. It's just a game made to milk the (lame) Halo franchise like many other users have said before, it's true! That's why new Halo's will be made and they will continue to sell.

fps_d0minat0r
fps_d0minat0r

if its for players who have never played rts's.......it doesnt make it good. it means its only good for noobs and experienced players will find it boring and will feel asif it was made within 7 days. as for the sales.....typical microsoft marketing with pre-rendered cut-scenes and the halo brand name........ stop thinking like fanboys for a second and ask ur self: 'is this game anywhere near the quality of other games and is it really worth the money?' when i mean compare, i dont mean 10 player online games without dedicated servers like gears of war.......i mean killzone, COD 4&5, MGS4. personally i think it was very fortunate to get a 6.5 since there is lack of gameplay, features, graphics and only basic AI is being used. id be suprised if this was using more then 10% of the xbox's power.....its pathetic really.... in UK, when a game goes platinum, it has a price drop, not sure about other parts of the world. microsoft know that if it remains £40 then no-one will buy it because its not worth it. just go to your local gamestore and check out how many pre-owned copies of this they have because there were a ton of them in the stop near me.......trade it in while its worth something.