Halo: Reach - Biggest Week One Sales Ever for an Exclusive

by Miles Taven, posted on 25 September 2010 / 13,702 Views

So, what happens when an iconic, record breaking blockbuster franchise, a multi million advertising campaign and the swan song from one of the most acclaimed developers in video game history all come together? Halo: Reach that's what, and an opening week that smashes so many records it's a contender for "amount of records smashed in one week"

Halo: Reach released to midnight launches across the globe to great fanfare from loyal long time fans there from the very beginning, to girlfriends dragged along, completely oblivious to what all the fuss was about. At the stroke of midnight cash registers started ringing and kept ringing .. and ringing, and in just 24 hours, Halo: Reach had generated over $200 million.

Read on to see how Halo: Reach compares with other first weeks sales, upcoming contenders, a Halo franchise analysis and of course those all important records.

First week sales

VGChartz data for the week ending 18th September 2010 include the 5 days of Reach availability since Tuesday 14th.



Halo: Reach debuts as the 2nd highest ever launch week on a single platform, behind the jugganaut that is Modern Warfare 2, however it does steal 1st place as the highest week one exclusive game of all time from Halo 3, it's predecessor, naturally. I should note GTA: San Andreas launched exclusively on PS2 and released on Xbox and Windows one year later.

What about the upcoming competition? Well it's looking very likely Call of Duty: Black Ops on X360 will topple Halo: Reachs week one total, thanks to heightened console sales due to the holiday season hotting up. Pokemon Black/White debuted to an enourmous 2.63 million in Japan this week, meaning it stands a real chance of also topping 4 million first week. It's possible Grand Theft Auto V, wherever thou are, could beat Reach. Other than that it's unlikely we're going to see anything else contend.

Halo Franchise Analysis

As you can see from the above chart, Halo games may not become the highest selling of all time, but they're undoubtably the most anticipaited and home to the most loyal fans you could ever find. Even on a userbase of around 17 million, peaking at 24 million, Halo 2 managed an incredible 2nd place at the time.

Launching in September 2007, Halo 3 didn't just smash all first week video gamer sales and revenue earnt, but became the biggest entertainment launch of all time, toppling Spiderman 2 the film from it's perch. To a lesser extent, the expansion standalone game Halo 3: ODST didn't do too badly either, it sits just outside the top 20. Not bad for an expansion pack eh?

Can a franchise keep growing? Can every consecutive main game sell more than it's successor? Halo: Reach isn't bucking that trend that's for sure. Opening to over 4 million units, a first for the Halo franchise, shows it's all but a declining franchise as some had predicted. With 343 Industries taking the helm for the first time, the Halo franchise will live on. In what form we've yet to find out, one things for sure however, Microsoft arn't going to let their prize pig shy away from the spotlight and stop reaching for new heights.



Unfortunately Halo: Combat Evolved first week sales are unavailable at this time. It did however manage 6.43 million LTD on the Xbox. Along with the RTS effort from Ensemble, Halo Wars (1.94 million) the Halo franchise has surpassed over 38 million units and should fly past 45 million without another Halo release this generation.

Just for the Record

  • Highest first week sales ever for an exclusive game.
  • Highest ever Halo Debute.
  • Only exclusive to pass 4 million first week to date.
  • Only exclusive to pass 3 million first week in Americas.
  • 70 Million+ Games played
  • Highest rated Xbox 360 game at VCGhartz!

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26 Comments

rf40928 (on 26 September 2010)

I think the writer of this article should've composed a graphical list of "Biggest Week One Exclusives", instead of showing a list which has half multi-platform games and half Exclusives.. You're talking about an Exclusive so compare it to exclusives..If the list would've shown ALL TEN GAMES that were ONLY EXCLUSIVES the picture of accomplishment would be alittle more relentless..


szerbijn (on 26 September 2010)

Congrats to Microsoft and Bungie for keeping its major exclusive as a best-seller. Fanboys: wtf? why do you care SO much about the sales of a game? why do you take it to a personal level? what do you win or achieve with that? No, seriouly, what? I own a PS3 and a Wii, but also I enjoy playing Halo with my friends, although I don't think it's such a great game. But, obviously, that's my opinion.


Rawnchie14 (on 26 September 2010)

@ brendude How objective of a comment. I happened to enjoy all of those top ten titles. May not be my favorites, but obviously those games are loved by many - and I respect hat they are.


rf40928 (on 26 September 2010)

@brendude Ive concluded that guys like you are spoilers probably on Sony's payroll.. i see more guys from the Sony camp posting hate stuff on 360's areas more and more and it can only be psychological warfare. Fact: The 'great' games sony is selling on the PS3 are in fact not selling that great. People buy what they thnk is great, not the other way around. Most of the original PS1 gang are in their late 30's now and not buying console.. Sony needs more good FPS's - thats what younger people want and gaming has shifted to the west


rf40928 (on 26 September 2010)

@Ninatari "What no one talks about is the fact that Halo 3 is the best selling game as far as % goes." Actually they do, it was just on a thread a few days ago at VGChartz. you have to keep in mind just because the console userbase grows quickly - it doesnt mean one games fanbase (such as Halo )will grow as quickly. Everyone plays a Wii, a PS3, and an Xbox 360 for different games. FPS's happen to be the hottest genre in gaming so Halo Reach proved that the HALO fanbase kept its 'CORE' fanbase and still grew alittle ! To me only the opposite is maybe true in the 'console versus game sales ratio' - Meaning on a console whose fanbase is smaller ( PS3 ) then it used to be (PS2 ) .. classic big sellers like Grand Turismo will likely sell less because less people own PS3's then PS2's.. If you dont beleive that, two weeks before Reach was released I played Halo 3 with a couple guys who just bought a HALO game for the 1st time ever - and that was Halo 3.. so even Halo 3 is picking up new fans.. So in the end as i said Halo has pretty much kept its Core fanbase and still managed to grow alittle.. which pretty much shoots down any of the 'haters' theories that Halo was a dieing franchise ( because of ODST sales which didnt prove anything because that was an expansion built on a non-spartan character and added ZERO to classic multiplayer ).. So ODST did respectable.. but that wasnt what the Core Halo fan wanted


kain_kusanagi (on 26 September 2010)

@ brendude13 "I find it a shame that the first 7 games on the list are a bag of shit, excluding San Andreas." How can you seriously state something like? All of those games are of top quality and loved by fans around the world. I'm actually not a fan of the GTA games, but they are still top quality. Opinion doesn't change the fact that all the games on that list sold so well for a reason, they are great games.


brendude13 (on 26 September 2010)

I find it a shame that the first 7 games on the list are a bag of shit, excluding San Andreas.


Cobretti2 (on 26 September 2010)

Very cool. Another cool thing that I noticed with VGChartz is you can look at the leaders in week 2 week 3 etc... very interesting result. Just shows how Nintendo games have legs. Hopefully Reach will get 1million this week.


numonex (on 26 September 2010)

Halo: Reach first week sales around 4 million. First month should be around 7 million. Halo: Reach should sell 10 million before the end of the year. 15 weeks to close out 2010 including Black Friday sales and Xmas sales period late November and the whole of December. 10 million is possible before the end of 2010. 6 million to go over 15 weeks is around 400k per week average.


Nintari (on 25 September 2010)

What no one talks about is the fact that Halo 3 is the best selling game as far as % goes. COD6 sold around 1 million more copies, but did so with a MUCH higher install base. If you look at the percentages, Halo 3 blows ALL games away...hands down.


heruamon (on 25 September 2010)

As the years progress...more and more 360 games will filter onto the list, and in another 2 years, the top 5 might be all 360 games...not bad for a console that was suppose to be discontinued by now...lol. Kinect is going to drive the 360 to that 10-year plan with no problem, but I think we will see new consoles in another 2 years...Great Job for a well derserved game.


granallen (on 25 September 2010)

I think VGchartz should upgrade their statistics (and other sites too) to permit us to do a better interpretation of the data. I mean, every measure or set of data that this site analyse should have a small uncertainty, a margin of error. And because i suppose they use several different tools to calculate this numbers, each one of them probably have a small error, the propagation error of the final number has to be substantial ( for example 1,000 [+-] 25 is a range between 1,025 and 875 in which the real quantity exist). This will clarify if there exists a statistical tie on any of this games. This is important, because a small deviation of about 5-8% could change the interpretation of the order in which those games are placed in the table.


Bornswavia (on 25 September 2010)

The game deserves it too. It may not be near the best exclusive game, but is a pretty damn good game. You do get what you pay for this Halo.


darthdevidem01 (on 25 September 2010)

@TheFlyingDutchman FF8 is EASILY the highest Week 1 in any FF ever. It sold 2.5 Million Week 1 in Japan alone (confirmed numbers from Famitsu) It was the MOST HYPED FF game ever because it came after FF7 which was a phenomenon back then......remember the 9.9.99 hype slogan.....FF8 hype is way bigger than any FF got after it. So I'd say if anything VGchartz has under tracked FF8 week 1. ________________ OT: Awesome sales and a great success. Bungie must be proud.


Zkuq (on 25 September 2010)

It's pretty interesting (and on the other hand, boring) to see it dominate in North America but then be just another big launch everywhere else.


enrageorange (on 25 September 2010)

@TheFlyingDutchman very sad comment. Go hate somewhere else. Very good at downplaying the achievements and overplaying the faults.


HALOOOOOOOO (on 25 September 2010)

I absolutely hate every Halo game. Oh wait, no I don't. They're amazing games. Lots of my friends who say that the previous Halo games have been so-so are saying Reach is way better, a few say it's the best game in the series. I still think that goes to the good ol' original.


kain_kusanagi (on 25 September 2010)

Great game and great sales.


Darth Tigris (on 25 September 2010)

Wow. 360 domination in the top 5. That's amazing. What else is amazing? How much they went on to sell AFTER these huge openings. Great legs. OT: Time to curb GT5 launch predictions because nothing in the series even sniffs the top 10. It may well have some legs, but at launch its time to just get out of your head that it will be up here.


A Bad Clown (on 25 September 2010)

Lol @ everyone who thought Reach's week one would be around the same as ODST's.


CChaos (on 25 September 2010)

I had no idea Halo 1 did quite so well. It's amusing when the 'low end' of the series (not counting Halo Wars cause, well...yeah...) is 5.5 million LTD sales. The series deserves the credit it gets and I'm figuring that 343 Industries will work their butts off to try and continue the trend. If Microsoft kills the franchise after losing Bungie, they may as well have killed their golden goose, so, something tells me they're going to make sure the games stay good. All in all, a great showing for a great game with Reach. Truly Bungie's finest work.


ArcticGabe (on 25 September 2010)

360 domination in the top 5!!! OMG


jpain333 (on 25 September 2010)

Congratz! well deserved...


yo_john117 (on 25 September 2010)

If this would have released during the holidays then it would have probably sold at least 4.5-5 million in its first week.


drudaddy (on 25 September 2010)

It's halo what else can you say. Just a remarkable powerhouse that isn't gonna die anytime soon


numonex (on 25 September 2010)

4 million sales in one week is a remarkable achievement for an exclusive game. Congrats Bungie and Halo: Reach.