Stores across the world opened at midnight last night to celebrate the launch of the much anticipated Halo: Reach. Here in the UK, hundreds of people queued up in the early hours to be some of the first to get there hands on Halo: Reach, the latest game in Bungie’s highly successful series.
Halo: Reach is the fourth instalment of the Xbox exclusive shooter, and comes three years after the release of Halo 3. However, Halo: Reach is not a sequel but rather prequel to the previous instalments of the Halo franchise.
Halo 3 was the biggest selling video game of all-time, a record now held by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. Microsoft will be hoping that Halo: Reach can repeat the success of Halo 3, having invested an extra 60% in marketing spending according to Xbox 360 Director Stephen McGill. The entertainment and devices director told MCV:
“Halo: Reach is extremely important for us. Not just from a revenue and business perspective, but Halo is such an iconic franchise and one that has delivered huge innovation with every release.”
“We’re able to track activity and Halo: Reach is the most popular game on the site right now,”
“In comparison to Halo 3 though, I’m not sure how well it will go down.
“It’s had a good critical reception, but Microsoft are certainly spending a lot of money promoting the game.”
Halo: Reach certainly has had a great critical reception with its current score of 92% on Metacritic.
The Halo series games have sold over 34 million copies since the original was released on the Xbox, and analysts suggest that a Halo game could once again encourage people to invest in one of Microsofts consoles. Anita Frazier, an anal list at research firm NPD said:
“If hardware sales react in a similar fashion to what was experienced when Halo 3 was launched in September 2007, September could be a huge sales month for Xbox 360 hardware. We can expect big numbers to be reported with September results.”
Halo fans may have only been playing Halo: Reach for a matter of hours, but already Bungie have had reports of cheaters. The developers say that they’re ready to ban any Halo: Reach players caught cheating.
“Our team is standing at the ready behind the sights of our fully operational Banhammer Battlestation. We take the Reach online experience VERY seriously.”
The Halo: Reach midnight launches echo similar events for the release of Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty earlier this year.
So have any Train2Game students got your hands on a copy of Halo: Reach yet? Perhaps you attended a Halo: Reach midnight launch event? If you don’t own an Xbox 360, do you think the release of Halo: Reach could encourage you to do so?
And have you spotted any cheaters yet?