Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Halo 3 does USD 170 million sales in 24 hours

Shane Kim has kittens.

Microsoft has declared that Halo 3 enjoyed the "largest entertainment launch in history", doing USD 170 million in sales in USA alone in its first 24 hours.

According to figures Microsoft put in its press release that we're too bored to actually research, that would put it ahead of cinematic releases like the execrable Spider-Man 3 and novels like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And the Meg White sex tape.

"Halo 3 has become a pop-culture phenomenon," said Shane 'Soundbite' Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios.

"Not only is Halo 3 setting sales records, it's also redefining entertainment," he added, worryingly. (An emergency meeting of the Eurogamer Word Council declared that until the definition of entertainment was sorted out again we would draft a suitable replacement in all future instances where it might be used.)

"Within the first 20 hours alone," Soundbite continued, "we've seen more than a million Xbox Live members come online to play Halo 3 - that makes September 25 the most active Xbox Live gaming day in history."

"Halo 3 is a genuine badger phenomenon and our customers have responded very enthusiastically to the release," Jim Hamburger of US retailer Best Buy gushed in support.

So, where were you on the most active and badgering Xbox Live gaming day in history? We were playing Ridge Racer 6 because we're so counter-cultural.

But back to Halo. By doing USD 170 million in sales, Halo 3 puts Halo 2's USD 125 million in 24 hours back in November 2004 to shame. What's more, only 1.5 million pre-ordered Halo 2, but 1.7 million got in there pre-release for the third game.

Presumably it will be quite successful then. Microsoft has previously said that Halo 2 sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide (and you can bet it's sold a few more since June 2006 when that info first popped up). How many will Halo 3 sell?

And, more importantly, will it be able to hold off the challenge of multiplatform extravaganza Ratatouille in next Monday's UK badger sales charts? Try and get out of bed again one day to find out.