Kicking off the holiday season, 343 Industries’ first attempt at exclusively developing a Halo game was a huge success. Estimated at 3.1 million copies sold worldwide in the first 24 hours of release, including 1.9 million in the US, Halo 4 sold more copies than any previous Halo title. Not only has Halo stuck around through Microsoft’s rise in the game industry, but it also played a major part in the Xbox and Xbox 360’s success. However, the success of the Xbox 360 has played a big part in the rise of what has become Halo’s biggest competition. Being a multiplatform title, Call of Duty has grown into something too big for even Halo’s 3.1 million sales to top. Yes, practically every Xbox owner plans to add Halo 4 to their library at some point, while most Halo fans got the game in the first 24 hours. Even though control of Halo shifted to 343 Industries from Bungie, who made the decision to split from Microsoft in order to become an independent company, Activision did most of its Call of Duty promotions on the Xbox 360. The fact that Call of Duty Black Ops 2 will not only sell better than Halo on the first day, but will also sell better on the Xbox 360, is because of Microsoft’s partnership.
Halo 4 will possibly be able to put up similar numbers, but for now 343 Industries will likely have to watch as Activision breaks their own record for number of copies sold on release day, previously set by Modern Warfare 3. The number of preorders for Black Ops 2 shows that it doesn’t look good for Halo 4, in terms of poking tongues and shouting “na-na-na-na-boo-boo” because they sold more copies in the first 24 hours. Regardless of whether Halo 4 sells more or less than Black Ops 2 in the first 24 hours or in 5 years, the sales of Halo 4 have made a statement. 343 Industries is sticking to the unique and nontraditional aspects that defined the reign of Halo, but they have also found a way to incorporate some of the better features of Call of Duty into their game. Critics are beginning to wonder, with the rumor of a Modern Warfare 4, if the Call of Duty franchise, or maybe just Infinity Ward, is running out of ideas; 343 Industries certainly proved with Halo 4 that they are just beginning. These new ideas are not enough now, as Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will surely sell better than Halo 4 in the short term and long term, but maybe Halo 5 will be set to reclaim its place as the best in every Xbox 360 (or more likely Xbox 720) FPS fan’s heart.