November 10, 2004 2:53 PM PST

'Halo 2' clears record $125 million in first day

Microsoft beat even its own heady expectations for the hotly anticipated Xbox game "Halo 2," selling more than $125 million of the product its first day in stores.


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The software giant on Wednesday reported sales of 2.38 million units for the game in the 24 hours since it went on sale in the United States and Canada at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.

With the standard version of the game priced at $50 and the deluxe edition going for $55, the $125 million tally handily beat the $100 million first-day haul Microsoft Vice President Peter Moore predicted earlier in the week.

Moore told the Reuters news service that Microsoft's biggest challenge would be keeping enough units in stock. "There's no doubt in my mind there's going to be some store stockouts," he said.

Many fans waited in line for hours to get their hands on the sequel to "Halo," the Microsoft-published shooting game that helped establish the software giant's Xbox system as a legitimate contender in the video game industry.

"Halo 2" introduces online play to the franchise, and Microsoft is counting on the game to drive a surge in subscriptions for its Xbox Live online gaming service. "It's a great showcase title in terms of...exploiting the underlying power of Xbox and Xbox Live and really showing people what's possible." Shane Kim, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios, told CNET News.com.

The game's $125 million opening day lives up to Microsoft predictions that "Halo 2" would eclipse even the biggest Hollywood openings. "Spider-Man" holds the record for biggest opening weekend box office take, raking in a comparatively paltry $114 million over three days.

Thieves briefly cast a shadow over the "Halo 2" launch last month, when a stolen French copy of the game began appearing on file-swapping sites. Microsoft quickly cracked down on distribution of the pirated copy, however, and the theft appeared to have no impact on retail demand.

3 comments

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Goes to show ya (piracy)
That if you make a decently priced product people will buy it. If your product is overpriced, full of bugs and security holes, well the likelihood of piracy is much higher.
Posted by kieranmullen (1070 comments )
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Oh please
Just another cheap FUD-jab at Microsoft.
If copying XBOX games were as easy as copying data CDs, they'd probably be pirated just as much.

Just goes to show you what good copy-protection and DRM can do for your sales figures.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
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the (lack of) effects of piracy
some "experts" (i mean really who isn't an "expert" now days) would have us think that piracy has a huge economic impact. well i must agree. people pirate software and music all the time. does this lead to decreased sales? in some cases, maybe, but by and large i argue that it increases sales. studies have shown that a majority of file swappers make their purchases based on their experience with the pirated version of whatever it is they're buying. i download songs all the time. i find out about new bands on eDonkey, then go to the record store and BUY the music. so much for the RIAAs endless "file swapping is ruining the industry" rant. people who are doing to buy something are going to buy whether they can get it for free or not. and so often, the illegal version is not as good as the original, so theres incentive there to buy as well. as for halo 2, its so much trouble to rip off xbox games that most people don't find it worth the effort. i think corporations make much too big a deal out of piracy. people will do what they want, the honest ones will buy stuff, the dishonest ones won't. its always been that way and always will be.
Posted by Dibbs (158 comments )
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