The Gears of War franchise is no stranger to success at retail. Combined sales of the original Gears of War and its sequel have reached 12 million units. Now, series shop Epic Games is stating its desire that the third entry in the shooter series--due out worldwide September 20--will keep up with the pace set by its predecessors.
Gears of War 3 design director Cliff Bleszinksi recently sketched out sales targets for the third game in the cover-based third-person shooter series for IndustryGamers.
When asked what the target for Gears of War 3 retail sales was, Bleszinski said, "Definitely over 6 million, obviously."
However, he hopes that it will actually be an even bigger hit than that.
"But deep down, just to be perfectly candid and honest, I would die if we hit [10 million units]; that would be phenomenal." he said. "But I can only pray and hope. It's up to the gamers to vote with their wallets."
While 6 million is a large tally to reach, the pre-release hype surrounding the game is palpable. Last month Epic Games said 1.29 million gamers from 145 countries tried out the beta for the game, which ran from April 18 to May 15. Further, Gears of War 3 reached 1 million preorders faster than any other Xbox 360-exclusive ever, beating out high-profile games Halo: Reach and Halo 3.
As for the title itself, Gears of War 3--originally pegged to debut in April--begins with the last human city having been obliterated and series hero Marcus Fenix trying to protect the remaining humans from the Locust horde and from newer, deadlier foes, the mutating Lambent.
Gears of War 3 will be available in three versions this September: standard ($60), Limited ($80), and Epic ($150). The centerpiece of this year's $150 Gears of War 3 Epic Edition will be a limited-run Marcus Fenix statue.
[CLARIFICATION]: This article originally characterized Bleszinski's sales target as a sales expectation. The developer has since claimed on his Twitter account that he was not claiming sales targets, but rather his hopes.