Halo: Reach sets sales record

MICROSOFT has enjoyed the biggest gaming sales bonanza of the year, after a global stampede for the latest instalment of its Halo video game franchise generated over $200m (£128m) of revenues in just 24 hours.

Sales of Halo: Reach, a first-person shooter game, stormed past the three-day opening weekends of blockbuster films like Toy Story 3 and Iron Man 2 in just a day, Microsoft said yesterday.

Video game fans around the globe queued for hours in front of stores on Monday night to be among the first to try out the new game, the prequel to the Halo trilogy of games for the Xbox 360.

In the UK alone, the game sold over 300,000 units in its first 24 hours on sale. The franchise as a whole had sold an estimated 3.67m units in the country up until the end of July, netting revenue of almost £110m, according to games industry body UKIE.

UKIE director general Michael Rawlinson said news of Halo: Reach’s success pointed towards a bumper fourth quarter and Christmas boom for the UK video game market, music to the ears of firms which struggled to keep up the pace of sales as discretionary consumer spending slumped in the crisis.

“This is excellent news for the video games and interactive entertainment industry, demonstrating how games sales continue to increase despite difficult economic circumstances,” Rawlinson said.