Halo: Reach mints $200 million in 24 hours

Microsoft hailing its own Xbox 360-exclusive shooter as "biggest US entertainment launch of 2010"; unit sales figures not provided.

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To the delight of gamers and to the horror of significant others everywhere, Halo: Reach went on sale on Tuesday. Microsoft pulled out all the stops in promoting the critically hailed sci-fi shooter's launch, staging midnight sales events at retailers across the country and waging a media campaign with Covenant-like intensity.

$200 million in 24 hours = $8,333,333 per hour.
$200 million in 24 hours = $8,333,333 per hour.

One part of Microsoft's promotion of Halo: Reach is the inevitable announcement of the Xbox 360 exclusive's massive day-one haul. In the first 24 hours after the game went on sale on September 14, the game raked in over $200 million in the United States and Europe. (Canada was not mentioned.) Though not enough to beat the multiplatform Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's record of $310 million in 24 hours, it was enough to best Halo 3's $170 million day-one haul in September 2007. The last Halo game, 2009's Halo 3: ODST, made $125 million in just over two weeks.

Microsoft did not offer unit sales figures for Halo: Reach but did hail it as the "biggest US entertainment launch of 2010." It's the last game in the series to be developed by its creator, Bungie. Once owned by Microsoft, the studio split away in 2007 to become an independent entity in which Microsoft held a large stake. Then, this April, the suburban Seattle shop announced a 10-year partnership with Activision that gave the latter company exclusive publishing rights to an all-new intellectual property.

Unlike Halo, the new series will be multiplatform and will be wholly owned by Bungie itself. Microsoft owns the Halo IP and will continue on with the series, having created an entire division, 343 Industries, to further extend the brand into comics, anime, books, and other forms of media.

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