Australian gamers have been out in the dark - after midnight and away from their screens - to get their hands on the latest edition in the blockbuster Halo series, Halo 4, which went on sale overnight as the clock struck 12.
The franchise that has sold more than 46 million games worldwide and has surpassed $3 billion. Halo 4 has broken all Microsoft Australia pre-order records to date.
More than 10,000 retail locations in more than 40 countries opened their stores at 12:01am. on November 6 to welcome the gaming hordes. In Australia, more than 250 EB Games and JB Hi-Fi stores remained open until after midnight to celebrate the return of The Master Chief and sell die-hard Spartans their copy Halo 4. Diehard gamer, Niall "UndueBasher647" Frew, was one of hundreds of people who attended EB Games Campbelltown last night to count down to midnight and was the first Australian to purchase Halo 4.
"Halo has been my whole life, I feel fantastic! I have been waiting to play Halo 4 for a long time." To coincide with the launch of the game, Microsoft will also activate a Capture the Poster, real-world scavenger hunt for the Xbox online community to claim a rare, signed Halo 4 artwork, used as billboards in the outdoor advertising campaign for the game.
There will be 400 Australian-exclusive posters signed by Josh Holmes, Creative Director of Halo 4, 343 Industries, scattered around Sydney and Melbourne for people to claim. Xbox Australia Facebook fans will be granted exclusive access to a real-time map revealing the location of claimed posters and clues to those that are still available to aid their hunt. Halo 4 is expected to break all previous day-one entertainment sales records in 2012. Australian fans can 'like' the Xbox Australia Facebook page to be part of the scavenger hunt. facebook.com/xboxaustralia.
Fast facts about the Halo franchise:
- The Halo franchise has surpassed $3 billion
- More than 46 million Halo games have been sold worldwide
- More than 5 billion hours of Halo gameplay have been logged by players while connected to Xbox LIVE. ·
- Players have accumulated more than 235,182 years in Halo playtime.
- The collective time players spent playing Halo is more than that required to travel across the Milky Way galaxy and back at the speed of light.
- Halo 3 (2007) became the biggest entertainment launch in history by generating $170 million in 24 hours in the U.S., surpassing the $125 million day-one record set by Halo 2 (2004).
- Halo: Reach (2010) generated more than $200 million in the US and Europe in 24 hours, eclipsing all previous entertainment launches in 2010.
- More than 9 million copies of the Halo series of books, comics and strategy guides have been sold. Nine of the 11 novels are New York Times bestsellers
- Halo 4 has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012, according to Metacritic.
- Since the launch of Halo 3 players have generated more than 120 million pieces of user-generated content from within the game.
- Over 7.5 million Halo action figures have sold since 2005