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Fans splurge $220m on Halo 4 in first 24 hours

Master Chief and his Halo franchise have captured $3.38bn total

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Redmond reports that Halo fans have broken its sales records, spending $220m in just 24 hours as they seek their latest fix from the franchise that is once again headed by Master Chief John-117.

"Consumer demand and excitement for Halo 4 is even greater than we anticipated," said Tony Bartel, president of video game retailer GameStop in a statement. "Day-one sales of Halo 4 make it the biggest Halo launch in GameStop history and the biggest game launch on any platform so far this year in our stores."

Microsoft certainly went all-out on the launch on November 6, with PR stunts including a 50-foot illuminated glyph ferried down the Thames river in London via helicopter. In addition, "Liechtenstein was reimagined into a real-life replica of the Halo universe, marking the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch," the company said.

The simultaneous launch in 10,000 retail stores in 40 countries saw fans waiting in line to get hold of a copy or stress-testing download servers. Microsoft says that in the first five days after it went on sale, users have racked up 31.4 million hours of Halo 4 gameplay and broke yet another record as the number of players of the franchise rose above four million for the week.

Microsoft reckons that the entire Halo franchise has now earned $3.38bn since the game first came out nearly 11 years ago (the anniversary is November 15.) In all, over five-billion game hours have been spent playing on Halo – or to put it another way, over half a million years of human lives.

"We're thrilled that Halo 4 has emerged as the biggest US entertainment launch of the year," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. "Thanks to the millions of fans worldwide who helped make this another record-breaking launch for the Halo franchise, Halo 4 is kicking off a strong holiday season and has become the must-have blockbuster experience of the year." ®

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