REDMOND, Wash. — May 24, 2010 — The most anticipated game of the year is making its worldwide debut this September. “Halo: Reach,” the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling video game franchise and hailed as the No. 1 game series of all time,1 will leave its mark on the entertainment landscape when it launches worldwide, starting Sept. 14, 2010, and in Japan on Sept. 15.
Developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed studio Bungie, “Halo: Reach” drops players back into the iconic universe they love so they can experience the birth of the “Halo” legend. During the past 10 years, the “Halo” franchise has inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more, and it has sold more than 34 million games worldwide to date.
“‘Halo: Reach’ is the culmination of a decade of ‘Halo,’ a franchise that has become a global entertainment and pop-culture touchstone,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft Corp. “Just as ‘Halo: Combat Evolved’ catalyzed the success of the original Xbox to define a decade of entertainment, ‘Halo: Reach’ will push the boundaries for what’s possible in video games and help make 2010 the biggest year in Xbox history.”
“There’s no doubt in my mind that ‘Halo: Reach’ will be one of the biggest games and hottest entertainment products of the year,” said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. “Pre-orders for ‘Halo: Reach’ have been off the charts, with fans snapping up the limited and legendary editions since they were introduced just a month ago. Overall, it’s a real testament to the passion of the ‘Halo’ fan base.”
Consumers Help Make History With Record-Breaking “Halo: Reach” Beta
As a testament to the anticipation for its release, more than 2.7 million “Halo” fans helped make entertainment history this month by participating in the “Halo: Reach” multiplayer beta on Xbox LIVE, making it the largest console video game beta test on record and more than triple the size of the “Halo 3” beta. Players completed more than 13 million online games and logged over 16 million hours of online gameplay, amounting to over 1,826 years of total play time in just over a two-week period. The data and user feedback gathered from the beta will help Bungie and Microsoft further refine the game and deliver a blockbuster experience that fans have come to expect from the “Halo” franchise.
“Halo: Reach” follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers as they make their final stand on planet Reach, humanity’s last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. Representing the best-in-class multiplayer elements that have become the hallmark of the “Halo” series, “Halo: Reach” offers the most action-packed multiplayer experience yet on Xbox LIVE. The “Halo: Reach” experience is completed with an intense campaign, an unparalleled suite of features and stunning new visuals powered by groundbreaking new technology.
“Halo: Reach” represents an enormous evolution for the genre-defining “Halo” games, and is testament to Bungie’s 10 years of experience crafting amazing experiences. During the past decade, “Halo” fans have demonstrated their commitment to the franchise by logging more than 2 billion hours of gameplay on Xbox LIVE, sharing millions of pieces of user-generated content, creating original “Halo” machinima series and even holding “Halo” themed weddings.
“Halo: Reach” is available for preorder in standard, limited and legendary editions at participating retailers worldwide. The standard edition has an estimated retail price of $59.99 (U.S.), and the limited and legendary editions of the game will retail for $79.99 and $149.99 (U.S.), respectively. The limited and legendary editions of “Halo: Reach” are packed with extras that fans won’t want to miss. The centerpiece of the legendary edition is a 10-inch-tall, hand-painted and individually molded Noble Team statue crafted by the expert artisans at McFarlane Toys. As a special bonus, fans can receive a token to unlock an exclusive in-game Spartan Recon Helmet, by picking up a copy of the game on launch day at North American retail stores, and outside of North America by making a pre-order reservation at participating retailers.
Bungie was founded in 1991 with the goals of developing games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then to sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 15 years, Bungie has captivated fans and created engaging universes that spawned the Marathon trilogy and the first two Myth games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world, and is more recently known for creating the blockbuster Halo franchise. Currently, the 180-person strong independent studio is hard at work finishing its most ambitious title ever, Halo: Reach. More information about Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier video game and entertainment system. It is home to the best and broadest library of games, a streaming library of thousands of movies and TV shows in 1080p HD, and millions of songs connected to the television. The digital center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with the largest online social network connected to the television in the 23 million members on Xbox LIVE to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. With the addition of currently code-named “Project Natal” for Xbox 360, Microsoft will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. More information about “Project Natal” and Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/projectnatal and http://www.xbox.com.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
1 According to a recent reader poll by Guinness World Records.
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