Just over a year ago, Microsoft was celebrating what was at the time "one of the most successful entertainment properties in history," after sales figures for Halo 3 were announced. The game racked up $300 million in sales during its first week, and set the tone for the blockbuster releases to come in the following year.
Now a year on, and Microsoft has returned yet again to trumpet the sales of one of its console's flagship shooters. According to the publisher, Epic's Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 2 sold over 2 million units within its first weekend of release. The third-person shooter, a follow-up to the 2006 hit Gears of War, was released worldwide on November 7 to critical acclaim. Gears of War 2 sees COG heroes Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago return to fight the Locust threat that is taking over the last cities of Sera.
Gears of War 2 has also had a major impact on Xbox Live. According to Microsoft, over 1.5 million people logged into Live for some COG-versus-Locust action on the launch weekend, setting a record for concurrent Live players.
Other publishers have recently been celebrating sales landmarks too. Harmonix has recently seen its founders rewarded with a $300 million bonus after music game Rock Band and Rock Band 2 hit sales of 7 million units across multiple platforms, and Ubisoft's results were boosted by Far Cry 2 hitting the million-sales mark within three weeks of launch. Bethesda's multiformat Fallout 3, which went straight to the top of the UK all-formats chart, made the company $300 million in its first week in shops.