Following the launch of Bungie Studios/Microsoft's Xbox exclusive Halo 2
earlier this week, a real-time Xbox Live statistics page
hosted on Bungie.net is making it easy to see the rapid online growth for the title.
Current statistics reveal that Halo 2
(at the time of this story) has seen 282,313 unique players. Building on figures of 80,000 players playing the game as of 4:00 am yesterday, Bungie's stats also revealed that 612,284 separate matches have been logged, with 70,505 players currently online. However, this number is sure to swell significantly in the evening hours, and as the week progresses.
These real-world numbers come after Microsoft’s Peter Moore put forth estimates of $100 million in sales for Halo 2
in its first day, and Microsoft chairman Bill Gates commented of the long in-development title at a recent financial conference: "In the first 24 hours we'll have an opening that's (more) popular than any motion picture has ever had in history."
Spurred along by pre-sale figures estimated at $78 million, Halo 2
will have shipped across 27 countries, localized in 8 languages by the end of the week. In the U.S. alone, the game was launched in over 7,000 retail outlets, with over 1,500 additional stores seeing the game put out in stores from London, to Seoul, Tokyo, Mexico City, Toronto, and beyond. The launch of Halo 2
is likely to help Microsoft achieve its fiscal year Xbox Live user estimates of 1.5 million paying subscribers.
[UPDATE - 11/11 8.55 AM PST
: Microsoft are now estimating 2.4 million copies of the game sold in the first 24 hours, for a total of $125 million in sales, even larger than Peter Moore's original estimates. It's also been noted that Prima Games have shipped over 270,000 copies of its Halo 2
strategy guide to stores, making it one of the best-selling strategy guide of all time.]