Microsoft has announced that Halo 3 brought in approximately $170 million in sales in the U.S. alone during its first day of release, making it the most successful entertainment launch in history.
"Halo 3 has become a pop culture phenomenon," said Microsoft Game Studios Vice President Shane Kim. "Not only is Halo 3 setting sales records, it's also redefining entertainment. Within the first 20 hours alone, we've seen more than a million Xbox Live members come online to play Halo 3 - that makes September 25 the most active Xbox Live gaming day in history. " The one-day sales mark beat the totals set by the summer movie blockbuster Spider-Man 3 as well as the final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Jill Hamburger, vice president of movies and games at Best Buy, said, "The initial demand we've seen for Halo 3 has been astounding, and the game is on track to become the number one gaming title of all time. Halo 3 is a genuine entertainment phenomenon and our customers have responded very enthusiastically to the release." GameStop Vice President Bob McKenzie echoed that sentiment, saying, "With consumer demand for Halo 3 and related products, we expect it to be the biggest video game title generator in GameStop's history."
The Halo 3 launch was driven by cross-country Midnight Madness events held by over 10,000 retailers, as well as special launch events and appearances by celebrities and professional athletes. Prior to its release, more than 1.7 million copies of the game were preordered in the U.S., setting a new record for pre-release sales that was previously held by Halo 2.