Halo 4 drives $220 million in 24 hours

Microsoft's new sci-fi shooter mints $20 million more than Halo: Reach on launch day, is on pace to hit $300 million in first-week global sales.

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Halo 4, the most expensive game Microsoft has ever made, is off to the hottest start in the franchise's history. Microsoft announced today that its new sci-fi shooter minted $220 million on its first day and is poised to haul $300 million in first-week global sales.

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Halo 4 blasted past 2010's Bungie Studios-developed Halo: Reach, which hauled $200 million on its first day (in the US and Europe). Additionally, Halo 4's launch day sales are better than 2007's Halo 3, which took in $170 million in 24 hours (in the US alone). Total combined Halo series life-to-date sales now stand at about $3.38 billion, Microsoft said.

Microsoft claims Halo 4's debut is the "biggest entertainment launch of the year" thus far. That record may not hold for very long, as Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops II--already breaking retailer records--releases tomorrow.

In netting $220 million in day-one sales, Halo 4 surpassed the first-day United States box office tallies of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 and The Avengers, Microsoft said.

Halo 4 also broke the franchise record for most players at launch. During the game's first five days, more than 4 million players spent time in the game, logging some 31.4 million hours. This pushes the total number of gameplay hours across all Halo titles to "well beyond" five billion, Microsoft said.

Additionally, Microsoft's Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Web series has drawn 46 million total views to date, Microsoft said. According to the company, 39 million of these views came through Machinima's YouTube channel alone.

For more on Halo 4, check out GameSpot's review.

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