Xbox wears a Halo of success
By Jason Hill
November 4, 2004
Consoles rely on blockbusters to sell systems but few games have been so intrinsically linked to a platform's fortunes as Xbox masterpiece Halo. Master Chief single-handedly saved Microsoft's launch, and has been thrilling gamers ever since.
A third of the world's 15 million Xbox owners have a copy of Halo, an extraordinarily high penetration for a shooting game among a library of more than 400 titles.
Halo's success can be attributed to its intense battles, realistic enemy intelligence and riotous multi-player action.
Halo 2 lands next Tuesday and is one of the most highly anticipated games ever. More than 1.5 million orders in the US suggest that it will generate more revenue in 24 hours than the opening day of any movie, including Spider-Man 2. Midnight launches at Australian retailers such as Myer in Melbourne have been organised.
Halo developer Bungie wanted to "make a worthy successor that we can be all proud of, tell the story we wanted to and take our multi-player experience online," according to studio manager Pete Parsons.
He says the team "set the bar so high that if you were to fall off, you would die".
"The best way to meet or exceed expectations is to keep our heads down and focused on the most important thing - making the game that we want to play and hoping our fans really like it," he says. "In the last stretch, our parking lot was full 24 hours a day. People were snoring on beanbags under their desks. Our cleaning staff was at first amused, then irritated, then horrified, and then ran away screaming.
"It's amazing to see how excited our fans are and the marketing craziness leading up to launch," he says.