Don’t hate the game; hate the people who are buying the hell out of it. It’s now semi, sorta, maybe, official that Halo 3 is the biggest launch event in entertainment history. The official numbers will be in later, but signs are looking good for Master Chief and company. According to Microsoft the game did an estimated $170 million in sales on September 25th. As predicted by most of us, this breaks the Spider-Man 3 record, and also destroy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We’re not in the least surprised, what with a huge marketing campaign behind the game.

“Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon,” said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. “Not only is “Halo 3” setting sales records, it’s also redefining entertainment.” Perhaps a bit of an “atta boy! We Rulezors!” statement, but there is some truth to it. Halo 3 is epic not only in it’s story and single player, but the level of content provided. With multiplayer, coop, campaign scoring, Forge, and videos there is a lot to love about what Bungie has done.

There were nearly 2 million preorders for the game, and I was witness to about 180 people waiting at my local store at midnight. Microsoft also stated that after 20 hours of online play there were over a million games of Halo 3 played online. I’d say so. When I took a little break to set myself up at in the early afternoon there were a total of 1.56 million games played at that time. So not only is this the biggest launch in entertainment history, but September 25th is the most active day in LIVE’s existence. Not too shabby for a game that was once an RTS title for the Mac.

We’ve finished the fight, and we’ve played crazy customs with friends. The game deserves what it is getting here. Now, the barrage of marketing may have gotten tiresome by the end. I’ll never drink Game Fuel simply because it looks nasty, but I was never offended. And with a title this epic, you can’t blame Microsoft for throwing their ample money gut around.

It’s also interesting to note that the pre-sales outpaced those for Halo 2, which came out towards the end of the Xbox’s lifecycle. The 360 is just starting to rev up this year. We’ll have to wait and see how big a jump the 360 console has in sales, but it sounds like most of us waiting for Halo 3 were already playing some BioShock just a few short weeks ago.

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