Halo 5: Guardians seems to have lived up to all the hype, tallying $400 million in first-week sales and becoming the biggest launch ever for Microsoft’s iconic 14-year-old video game franchise.
The game, which debuted last week, is the most-played Xbox One title right now with 21 million hours of total gameplay this week, 12 million of which were in campaign mode.
Microsoft owns 343 Industries, the studio behind the game, and likes to put out stats like these to keep the hype rolling through the holiday shopping season. Halo has always been the top Xbox exclusive, so the company uses it to boost everything from console sales to Xbox Live subscriptions.
But even the Halo franchise by itself has now totaled more than $5 billion in lifetime sales.
After the original Halo exploded onto the scene in 2001, Halo 2 set a video game record when it counted $125 million in first-day sales when it was released in 2004. Halo 3 broke that record with $170 million in 2007, and Halo 4 again topped the charts with $220 million in 2012.
That last launch was called the biggest yet when it passed $300 million in first-week sales, but now — in typical Halo fashion — the new game wears that crown.
Xbox still lags far behind Playstation in this generation’s console war, and it’s doubtful that Halo can close that gap by itself. But it certainly seems to be giving Microsoft a push in the right direction.
“The game represents all the possibilities of Xbox One and has earned its place as the anchor title in the greatest holiday games lineup in Xbox history,” Xbox chief Phil Spencer said in a Tuesday blog post.