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Halo – A smash hit on launch day

The latest installment of highly successful Halo gaming franchise was a smash hit on its launch day as Microsoft announced Monday that it already sold US$220 million globally in the first 24 hours of sales.

In a statement released by Microsoft, Halo 4 has already exceeded the $200 million figure in sales and is expected to surpass $300 million in the first week.

Halo 4, the first of the new Halo series trilogy, outperformed the previous mark set by its predecessor Halo 3, which generated $200 million in global sales on its launch day in September of 2010.

“We’re thrilled that ‘Halo 4’ has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year,” said Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer.

Microsoft has already racked up $3.38 billion in sales since it launched the first-person gaming franchise in 2001. The enormous figures generated by Halo 4 on its first day prompted Microsoft’s stocks to increase by 2.1 percent at $28.22 on Nasdaq.

Market analysts will be closely monitoring the sale of Halo 4 in the coming days with the hope that the game can pump up some blood life in the spiraling console gaming industry.

Halo 4 is also poised to compete with Activision Blizzard Inc’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which hits the market on Tuesday.

Halo 4 features the return of the series main protagonist Master Chief, who’s back after a five-year absence to save human kind from alien invasion – the Prometheans – and rescue his longtime friend and artificial-intelligence construct Cortana.

Aside from its compelling storyline, the game’s multiplayer capabilities, new sets of foes, and neat graphics provided a great overall gaming experience.

Bungie Studios introduced the Halo series, which was bought by Microsoft in 2000. Bungie worked together with Microsoft to release the next two Halo installments until it decided to move separate ways five years later.

Microsoft retained the game’s intellectual property rights and contracted 343 industries to develop Halo 4. On the other hand, Bungie studios signed a ten-year pact with rival Activision Blizzard, which is reportedly brewing a new title set to be released next year.