Halo 5’s record-breaking launch figures are a little deceptive

3 min read

And we thought this guy was good at math

Halo 5 is a great game. It might not be a perfect one, or even one that handles it’s single-player and multiplayer in equal measures of quality, but it’s still (mechanically) one of the finest shooters out there. And Halo fans seem to agree, with Microsoft announcing that Halo 5 saw the biggest launch that the franchise has ever seen. A launch figure that’s shrouded by some obscure tallying techniques.

Money talks, and Halo 5 managed to rake in a lot of it during it’s first week on sale. Microsoft has reported that 343’s second instalment in the franchise managed to grab $400 million in worldwide sales during the first seven days out – a hefty figure that is pretty darn good for a console exclusive. In comparison, Halo 3 in 2007 only managed $300 million, being the previous franchise record holder.

Here’s the thing though – Halo 3’s figures didn’t include hardware sales. Halo 4’s, however, does.

Microsoft has suspiciously added in all the money made on Xbox One Halo console bundles into the total too, a practice that isn’t exactly common when reporting sales figures such as these. Figures such as GTA V bringing in over a billion on launch week only included sales of the actual game, and not all the consoles it come attached to. The same goes for all the Call of Duty sales figures you hear about at around this time of year. They would all be larger sums if they included revenue not solely from the game itself.

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So it’s an odd statistic for Microsoft to suddenly report as record-breaking, considering it’s not actually playing by the rules. Worse still is the fact that actual sales numbers for Halo 5 haven’t yet been released, but early indicators from the UK charts indicated it’s down on Halo 4’s launch in that regard. That’s from figures not including digital sales, but it’s the only indicator we’ve got considering Microsoft’s secrecy.

Still, the game has a high attach rate, and is the system’s fastest-selling exclusive.

“The success of Halo 5: Guardians is a testament to the innovative work from the entire team at 343 Industries to bring this installment to Xbox One and the incredible community of fans who have come to love the story, characters and gameplay central to the franchise,” Head of Xbox Phil Spencer said. “The game represents all the possibilities of Xbox One and has earned its place as the anchor title in the greatest holiday games lineup in Xbox history.”

So is Halo actually in trouble? Probably not – but it might just be that Xbox players are a little more cautious following the mess that was The Master Chief Collection.

Last Updated: November 5, 2015

Alessandro Barbosa

You can all call me Sandy until I figure out how to edit this thing, which is probably never. Sandy not good enough? Call me xXx_J0k3R_360degreeN0Sc0pe_xXx. Also, Geoff's a bastard.

  • Spathi

    Never change Microsoft, never change. I’m always in awe of your uncanny ability to find new ways of reporting sales data.

    • I’m in awe of how much you care. They can report whatever they want to report, as long as it’s true. Or they can report nothing at all. They have no obligation to cookie-cutter anything. You need to gain some perspective.

      • Spathi

        Well, it isn’t true. It’s a lie. It is pure bullshit. I am in awe at how gullible you are.

        • Jonah Cash

          I suspect you might just want to ignore this one bud! Looks to be very blind with green glasses on….

          • Don’t be a coward. Talk to me directly if you have something to say about me. Do indicate how anything I wrote indicates ‘blindness’. Pointing out that a company can voluntarily report revenue data however they see fit, as long as it is true, isn’t ‘blindness’. It’s called perspective.

          • Jonah Cash

            OK here is your direct message. Have a nice day man. Keep it GREEN!

          • None of that was about me.

          • Jonah Cash

            I don’t have to be personal with you do I? If you can’t see your green glasses, surely I will just waste my time to try and convince you otherwise? I don’t have time to sit and have an online argument with you over how stupid MS is. So consider this discussion closed. Cheers man, have fun with Tomb Raider. I will pick it up on PC next year.

          • You talked about me behind my back, I called you out on it and told you that if you have something to say about me to not be a coward and say it directly to me, and your response had nothing to do with me.
            Have fun waiting till next year for Rise of the Tomb Raider. It’ll already be old news to me by then. I’ll be playing it tonight.

        • What isn’t true about it? I’m in awe about how you somehow have access to Microsoft’s sales data but they don’t.

  • Hammersteyn

    “the greatest holiday games lineup in Xbox history” How long is this guys holiday?

    • Pieter Kruger

      With Xbox everyday is a Holiday…..????????????

  • We call this Stat Padding where I come from.

    • Brady miaau

      Economic house?

      • Negative 😛
        Personal Opinion House.

        • Brady miaau

          even better!

    • HAHA, no shooting servers

  • Pieter Kruger

    ROFL @ Lazygamer!???????????? “deceptive”, “suspicious”, “in trouble”, “shrouded”, “obscure” etc. Holy Shit, I’d actually like to see the wording of your Sony sponsorship agreement! ROFL! Anyway, by your own measure Xbox consoles are selling so terrible 99% of the $400m (OMG!) should surely be actual games!? Teeheehee!????

    • Brady miaau

      to be fair, they also rag on Sony sometimes.

      Do you not find it odd that bundle sales, including the hardware price, are included i the money made today report? I find that a bit odd, to be honest. It is a game, we care about game sales. I am sure MS cares about how many consoles the game directly moved, sure, but that is still a sale of $50 odd, when all is said and done.

      • Pieter Kruger

        Doesn’t game unit sales figures usually include bundled sales…….?

        • Brady miaau

          I would think not, but I tried to google quickly (I really, really should be working!) and found nothing.

          • Pieter Kruger

            You think Uncharted’s 17m units does not include games sold in bundles?

          • Her Highness the Hipster

            17m UNITS certainly includes games sold in bundles. But if Sony started touting that it had a $— million launch, we’d raise the same issue.

          • Nikola


          • This^
            Bitch slap of truth right here….

          • What you said.

          • Jonah Cash

            Ooooo Logic bomb… Oh wait you used it on Pieter, you just ruined your logic bomb on the wrong person! 🙂

          • Um, dude, the Boners were touting CASH MADE, not units sold. Up your trolling, it’s getting stale.

          • Spathi

            I’m not sure that you understand what MS did. They take the amount a customer pays for a console + Halo, and they attribute that whole amount to Halo.

            Or that is how I understand it. Maybe I’m wrong 😀

          • Brady miaau

            Yes, but in money terms, where Sony did the same in unit terms, big difference there as well.

            From what I could find

          • Spathi

            Yeah, me and you and the rest of us are on the same page. Trying to make Pieter understand.

        • Nikola

          Nope! Not when it comes to money it’s supposed to be $50 per unit not $400 as they are calculating it!

    • Greylingad[CNFRMD]

      Well, if the sale of one bundle equates to about 8 units of the game, doesn’t that miss represent the total sales figure? In addition, Halo 5 was meant to shift consoles, in MS statements etc. you will find that this was the sole purpose… Still not a skewed value? If this value is related to total shifted to brick and mortar shops it’ll be even more confusing simply because it only pertains to how much were produced rather than actually sold…. Anyway, MS is trying really hard to convince people to buy an Xbox, and if you know sales tactics, it’s all about inflating values, everyone does it…

  • WitWolfy

    This is BS.. You cant just add controllers, figurines, toys ect ect to the equation to increase the games’ total sales so far… Sure if they said Halo as a franchise made an X amount of $$$ that would be fine. But in the end this just looks desperate to show the console or brand if you will isnt dead… YET!

    • Hammersteyn

      Preemptive marketing and PR?

      • WitWolfy

        I dunno what it is, but I refuse to believe that this game sold more than the marketing gaint that was Halo 3 last gen. That games’ marketing alone SOLD millions of copies for MS.

      • Pieter Kruger

        It’s working, just decided to go pick it up!????????????

        • Hammersteyn


        • WitWolfy

          So it isn’t DOA like MCC?

    • Pieter Kruger

      Didn’t Halo 5 open number 1 in UK sales charts? What do they count?

      • WitWolfy

        How I understand the article is MS is adding more than just the actual game to their over all sale numbers…

  • Nikola

    You know what as much a I like to rip on Xbox for fun I do not think it’s a necessarily a bad console at all it’s not as powerful and refined as PS4 and if I had the money I would probably own both BUT for the exclusives. Main reason why I WOULD NEVER get an Xbox is the way they do business dodgy bunch who are all about profit and going back on their word. This is another pathetic marketing plot to attract people they are just sad because the Xbox is not selling nearly good enough as PS4 is.

    • Pieter Kruger

      Did you notice Sony started using “shipped” rather than “sold through” with their latest results………just asking?

      • Nikola

        I did but they say shipped they don’t try to make it out to be something it is not that’s the difference. I am sorry but from the get go off this generation the Xbox (MS) have been so crappy to their fan base starting with whole DRM and bunch of other nonsense with timed exclusive and bull crap now!

        I got nothing against people playing Xbox have fun and enjoy it but MS is a bunch of cunts period that I will never support:)

        • Pieter Kruger

          I feel EXACTLY the same about Sony as you do about MS! Good times! ????????????

          • Nikola

            Honestly I really can’t see where you get that from and I think 99% were disagree with you!

            But it’s your opinion and there is nothing wrong with that! You do what you believe in:)

          • I usually would disagree with anything you said, because you are a mean bully, but, YES!

          • Nikola

            Ah Rince good old man thanks for calling me a bully AGAIN:(((

            Question are you ever going to finish Witcher 3 so you can start playing games with us???

          • Pah! playing games with you? You all love Destiny, then you don’t, then you do! NO! I will not be part of the LIE!

          • Ir0nseraph

            We almost had you with Destiny , next year we will try again with the Division.
            You can’t hide forever, We will find you 😛

          • The only difference is @[email protected]_YDGhciulmi:disqus has logical reasons to, you have fanboy reasons which aren’t 😛

    • This is some serious cognitive dissonance. If you believe what Sony does is any different than what Microsoft does, you are in need of some disillusionment.

  • Shame, Microsoft trying to deceive again

    • Nikola

      It’s just such a shame that some people don’t see it lol when it’s plain out there constant for past 2 years now MS shady shady bunch.

  • Grand Admiral Chief SpaceNinja


  • MS cash times 180? LOL

  • Francois Knoetze


    just putting this out there but if I had the cash I would so badly run around in one of these

  • Fox1 – Retro

    Look, the sales of Halo 5 was big, but we needed a bigger figure and Fat Albert wasn’t coming to the party so… we give you $400million

  • Sean Carbutt

    A bit misleading. From what I have heard and been told by my mates who own a Xbox, Halo is a disappointment. In fact they go so far as to say, it is very much like Destiny. But then it is Bunged Gee

    • It’s not. The multiplayer is some of the best ever in a FPS game. It’s much better than Destiny.

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