"Halo is truly a cultural phenomenon, and the launch of Halo 3 is an important milestone for Xbox 360 and for video games as entertainment and as an art form," said Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft. "Halo 3 embodies our vision for the future of entertainment, where some of the world's greatest creative minds will deliver a new generation of interactive storytelling."
"Halo 3" is quickly staking its place as the most popular Xbox Live game in history with members gathering in record numbers to play on the world's largest online gaming and entertainment network on TV. More than 2.7 million gamers have played "Halo 3" on Xbox Live in the first week, representing nearly one-third of the 7 million Xbox Live members worldwide. Within the first day of its launch, Halo 3 players worldwide racked up more than 3.6 million hours of online gameplay, which increased more than elevenfold to 40 million hours by the end of the first week, representing more than 4,500 years of continuous gameplay. Since "Halo 3 launched," gamers have unlocked nearly 30 million achievements. In its first week alone, Halo 3 drove a record number of Xbox Live Gold Memberships as hundreds of thousands of new members gathered online with friends, family members and other gamers around the world to collectively compete and complete the game.
Halo 3 is the conclusion to the epic trilogy and picks up where "Halo 2" left off, answering questions about the fates of the beloved protagonist Master Chief and his artificial intelligence sidekick Cortana as they struggle to save humankind from destruction at the hands of the alien coalition known as the Covenant. In addition to the rich storyline, "Halo 3" continues the franchise's grand tradition of delivering innovative online multiplayer experiences via Xbox Live. The game's online multiplayer and innovative four-player cooperative gameplay for Xbox Live Gold users, the much-talked-about Saved Films feature that enables players to capture and save their favourite moments on their hard drives, and Forge, an innovative map editor that enables myriad customization options, are just some of the new features gamers are experiencing.
Developed by Bungie Studios and published by Microsoft Game Studios, Halo 3 was released in 37 countries and 17 languages. To date, more than 20 million copies of the games in the "Halo" trilogy have been sold worldwide.
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