Microsoft today announced that the Xbox 360 exclusive game “Halo 3” has officially become the biggest entertainment launch in history, garnering an estimated $170 million in sales in the United States alone in the first 24 hours. The Xbox 360 title beat previous records set by blockbuster theatrical releases like “Spider-man 3” and novels such as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
I call shenanigans! According to Wikipedia, Harry Potter sold 8.3 million copies in it’s first day in the US. Let’s say that was at $35 a copy - and that seems a bit low - that’s $290.5 million.
Hmm…given the previous sales of $125 million at a $50 dollar price point, and that a small proportion of halo 3 sales are at double the price for the special edition, still probably better than halo 2, but not greatly in excess.
Halo3 is definitely doing well media wise. looks like Edge magazine in the Uk gave it 10/10, almost unheard of. Plus I flipped on my car radio last night and heard the talk radio presenter raving about Halo 3. that’s just not normal.
Actually, Harry Potter was hugely discounted by all the big retailers. Amazon and Barnes and Noble and the like all sold it really cheap. I bought it on opening day for $19.95 at Costco, which I think was an even better price than most retailers.
Plus, Tom I think the number you quoted was the number of copies they shipped to retailers, not the number of copies actually sold on the opening day, right? I’m not sure where you got the 8.3 million number, so I could be wrong. But I do remember walking into bookstores two days after the launch of Harry Potter and seeing a mountain of books still left behind that didn’t get sold on launch day.
EDIT: Nope, I just looked it up, it seems they did sell 8.3 million in 24 hours. So I think you might be right, even at the more discounted prices, it should still have beaten the $170 million for Halo 3.
The thing is, movies are an old medium where they have figured out multiple ways of delivering the same movie to people. First there’s the box office.
Then it comes out on DVD (VHS in the old days).
Until now, games were restricted to one release and one way of delivering the game to the people.
But I think what we’re seeing nowadays is that the game publishers have also figured out multiple ways of delivering the same game to the public, it’s just more spaced out than movies are. The same games that came out for the arcades and NES and SNES are now being re-released on mediums like Gametap, XBLA, the Wii’s Virtual Console. Also, Nintendo is has re-released virtually the same game that it made for earlier consoles now on GBA and DS.
In some cases, these re-releases require quite a bit of work to ready for the new platform, but I think the bulk of the work was still done in making the original game. I think this is analogous to DVD releases that contain a special edition with extra material, sometimes extra or re-cut scenes compared to the theatrical release.
And I think games will continue to find new ways of delivering the same game in new ways. Heck, one could argue that’s what EA does with the Madden series, and Activision does with the Tony Hawk series, but I think that’s going a bit far, those aren’t really the same game over and over again.
I think many years down the road, we’re going to see a rerelease of Halo 3 on some future consoles. Maybe some future handheld, or perhaps the XBLA equivalent of the next generation of console.
Let’s say $20, so at 8.3M copies, that’s $166M, or just under Halo 3. That’s not surprising if you count in both the fact that so many outlets were competing on price for the launch and that the price of books in some markets is going to be lower than it is in the US.