Halo series sales hit 50 million

Microsoft's sci-fi shooter franchise reaches new sales milestone; Halo 4 contributes roughly 4 million copies; free-to-enter tournament begins December 17.

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Microsoft has now sold 50 million Halo games since the series launched more than a decade ago with 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved. The company announced the news this morning, reiterating that players have spent more than 5 billion hours playing Halo on Xbox Live.

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Prior to Halo 4's worldwide launch on November 6, the Halo series stood at 46 million in sales. This suggests Microsoft's newest entry has shifted 4 million copies thus far. Halo 4 generated $220 million in 24-hour revenue at launch, with $300 million expected for its first week.

Microsoft has released eight Halo games to date, all of which have been first-person shooters, with the exception of 2009's strategy game Halo Wars. These include Halo: Combat Evolved (2001), Halo 2 (2004), Halo 3 (2007), Halo Wars (March 2009), Halo 3: ODST (September 2009), Halo: Reach (September 2010), Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (2011), and Halo 4 (2012).

Bungie Studios created the Halo series, though the company has since moved on to an all-new franchise to be published by Activision. Microsoft's new 343 Industries label is now responsible for all things Halo and is currently working on at least Halo 5 and Halo 6.

In addition to revealing lifetime sales figures for the Halo series, Microsoft today announced a new free-to-enter Halo 4 tournament. The Halo 4 Infinity Challenge begins December 17 and tasks players will competing on global leaderboards across the game's War Games and Spartan Ops modes for a chance to win prizes. Players can register for the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge today through the promotion's website.

The tournament is powered by Virgin Gaming, and its grand prize is a UNSC-themed V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor truck designed by 343 Industries. The winner of the Spartan Ops tournament will be awarded an appearance in a future Halo game. For full details on the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge, check out the tournament's website.

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