Master Chief has been awfully busy these days. Microsoft today announced that the game starring the cybernetic soldier, Halo 2, has sold 6.4 million copies worldwide. The number launched the Bungie-developed title to the top of the Xbox best-seller list, passing the previous champ: the original Halo.
Halo 2 burned up the sales charts and logged more than 1.5 million preorders before its release November 9. The franchise has sold an impressive 12.8 million units, putting it in the same league as other best-selling series, such as Metal Gear Solid and Grand Theft Auto.
Halo 2 has sold nearly 4.4 million units in the US alone and was a large contributor to the $9.9 billion in game sales this year. Halo was second on the top-seller list behind Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which sold 5.1 million units. Amazingly, the 3-year-old original Halo took ninth place with 1.1 million units sold, which is not bad for a game released in 2001.
Microsoft today also announced that Xbox Live has surpassed more than 1.4 million subscribers. The success of Halo 2 is undeniably a huge part of Xbox Live's prosperity. Each copy of Halo 2 (along with many other games) comes with a free two-month trial for Microsoft's online gaming service, and gamers are taking full advantage. To date, online play of Halo 2 has eclipsed 91 million hours, which is more than any other Xbox Live title, since its inception in 2002.