Even with its unprecedented success being seen as a foregone conclusion, the numbers that “Halo: Reach” has racked up barely a week after its release have been kind of staggering.
Within 24 hours, Microsoft was reporting that the game had already raked in more than 200 million in sales. They were also sure to frame those earning in pissing-contest terms, too, saying:
Based on U.S. sales alone, “Halo: Reach” is now the biggest entertainment launch of 2010 in the U.S., eclipsing the three-day opening weekends of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters like “Iron Man 2,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Toy Story 3” in a single day.
With numbers like that, it’s no surprise that Microsoft wants up the frequency at which “Halo” games come out, now that the fate of the franchise will be solely in their hands. But more impressive than the money has been the devotion the game’s commanded in its first week. Last Friday, Bungie let loose some more figures dug up by the developer’s data-mining. Here’s a few selective stats:
• 31,000,000 Games have been played since launch
• 78,499,560,895 Total Credits have been earned
• 953 Man-years have been spent in matchmade games
• 1365 Man-years have been spent in campaign
• 854,107 files have been uploaded
• 577,804 recommendations have been sent to friends
• 4,619,455 files have been downloaded
The true test of Microsoft’s future stewardship of the “Halo” franchise will be whether they’re able to replicate these numbers and the fanatcism that fuels them. The company’s not talking about the creators and designers who’ll be working the next “Halo” games but, whoever they are, they’ve got their work cut out for them.