Halo 5: Guardians was being closely watched by fans and analysts to see if 343 Industries exceed its previous efforts in the season and to determine if the sci-fi shooter franchise can still serve as the driving force for the Xbox One. Things look good for the tale of Master Chief and Spartan Locke after the first week of sales, though Microsoft’s announcement is couched with a healthy amount of PR spin.
“Halo 5: Guardians has made history as the biggest Halo launch and fastest-selling Xbox One exclusive game to-date, with more than $400 million in global sales of Halo 5: Guardians games and hardware, pushing the franchise to over $5 billion lifetime,” Microsoft announced in a press release posted to Xbox Wire. “With the highest week one attach rate for a Microsoft first party title on Xbox One, the game was the most played of any game on Xbox One, as well as the most played on Xbox Live.”
— Halo (@Halo) November 4, 2015
The spin begins in the first sentence with the mention that the $400 million in sales includes both games and hardware. That means the sales number not only includes game sales, but also sales of the Halo 5 Xbox One Limited Edition Console and likely sales of the Halo 5 controllers as well.
So, Microsoft is not providing exact sales numbers for Halo 5 at this point. That seems to be a growing trend in gaming, as the company is now using monthly active Xbox LIVE users over sales of its consoles. Meanwhile, Activision announced it will no longer report how many people subscribe to World of Warcraft.
While we don’t know the exact number, if we assume half of the $400 million was brought in through sales of solely the game, that is still more than 3 million copies of Halo 5 sold. Again, there are no official numbers, but the possible range of actual game sales likely ranges from 3 million to 5 million copies sold, assuming game sales represent $200 million to $300 million of that $400 million figure.
Another interesting phrase from the Microsoft press release was the reveal that Halo 5 became “the best-selling digital game ever in the Xbox Store for an opening week.” Meanwhile, the game is already the most played game on Xbox One and Xbox LIVE. Players have already logged more than 21 million hours of gameplay, according to Microsoft, with 12 million hours spent in the campaign and 9 million in multiplayer.
Sales of REQ Packs have taken off, with over 45 million REQ Packs acquired so far. It’s unclear how many of those were purchased with real world money versus in-game REQ Points. However, 343 Industries did announce that enough have been sold to bump the Halo World Championships prize pool from $1 million to $1.5 million already, and it continues to grow. The Halo 5 tournament prize pool is partially funded from the sales of REQ Packs.
— Halo (@Halo) November 4, 2015
It’s unlikely that we’ll see Xbox One console sales for the month of October, but that may be the true indicator of how well Halo 5 performed at launch. Microsoft can be expected to announce any percentage increase in console sales though. The solid reviews of Halo 5 should help drive sales through the holiday season as well.
“The success of Halo 5: Guardians is a testament to the innovative work from the entire team at 343 Industries to bring this installment to Xbox One and the incredible community of fans who have come to love the story, characters and gameplay central to the franchise,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox. “The game represents all the possibilities of Xbox One and has earned its place as the anchor title in the greatest holiday games lineup in Xbox history.”
[Image via Halo Waypoint]