How Much Does Halo 3 Mean to Microsoft?

Dennis Faas's picture

This morning, millions of people will line up and wait for a disc. Not a fancy iPhone, not a big 'ol PlayStation 3 or wee-Wii, but a disc. This morning, Halo 3 launches. According to some, it means more for Microsoft than just a few bucks.

For those who only dabble in gaming, Halo 3 is the last installation in a franchise that has spanned the entire console life of Microsoft. First released in the fall of 2001 for the original Xbox, it took little time for critics and gamers alike to realize that this one was special. No, it didn't revolutionize gaming, in fact, it uses the standard First Person Shooter (FPS) gameplay design that's been popular since id's Wolfenstein in the early 1990s. However, it simply did all of that FPS business really well, and that's easier said than done. (Source:

But, how much does Halo mean to Microsoft?

In 2001, it meant everything. As an early adopter of the Xbox, I can attest to the fact that almost no quality software existed for the console, other than Halo. In months, other goodies appeared like Rallisport Challenge, but the entire first year was no less than a drought. Halo sold a system that could certainly have croaked lost amidst a gaming Sahara.

By Halo 2, the Xbox was stronger and the hysteria sold games alone. The Xbox 360 has none of the fears that the Xbox team possessed in 2001, and that's largely because of this very franchise.

A recent Reuters article pointed out Microsoft's financial loss in this market over its stay. Some pin that loss at billions of dollars, making the Halo franchise crucial in helping the Xbox 360 team get their head above water. In an interview, director of franchise development for Microsoft Steve Schrek admitted just how important Halo is. "We make money and making money is great because this is a business. But we want long-term money that satisfies the fan base, not money today". That means developing crucial, guaranteed sellers like Halo.  (Source:

Call me a sucker, but my Best Buy pre-order should be just about ready.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet