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XBox (Games)

Mass Effect Sells A Million, Halo 3 Sells Five 69

Posted by Zonk
from the begun-in-earnest-the-console-wars-have dept.
Sales news is starting to trickle out for some of the big Fall games, with the Xbox 360 so far looking very strong. BioWare's Mass Effect has sold a million copies, while Bungie's blockbuster Halo 3 has already sold over five million copies since its September 25th release date. That last figure comes from a GameDaily interview with Xbox Marketing VP Jeff Bell. Aside from noting this week's release of Halo 3's first downloadable map pack, Bell also connected these sales back to the console itself: "The reaction has been very positive. In fact, we saw incredible sales of Xbox 360 for the week of November 18, including Black Friday of more than 310,000 Xbox 360 in the U.S. alone. This is really strong momentum for us given that we're already in our third year on the market."
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Mass Effect Sells A Million, Halo 3 Sells Five

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  • by techpawn (969834) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @12:05PM (#21672603) Journal
    I know it's five million, but that just read funny.

    We sold five whole copies of Halo 3! Pop the boxed champaign!!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gEvil (beta) (945888)
      No kidding. You'd think if they were pressed for space that Zonk could have figured out that '5M' would work better.
    • Ironically, it looks that way in my dorm. When Halo 2 came out, 9 of the 10 Halo owners in my dorm bought it. Halo 3? 1 person. 1.

      Ah well, I suppose that one of these days, I'll get me one of those new-fangled consoles. And immediately take it apart to see if I can't improve on the manufacturer's design.

  • So, now that you've got these impressive sales, how long until Microsoft's gaming division finally turns a profit?
    • They already have.

      They turned the profits from the sales of Halo 1 into "The Abomination" sometimes referred to as Halo 2.

      • by aichpvee (631243)
        They turned a profit for ONE quarter. As a division they're still seriously in the red. With the $1.3 billion (or whatever) warranty extension they did a few months back they'll be staying there for a long, long time.
      • by tb3 (313150) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @12:40PM (#21673241) Homepage
        You need to read that article more closely. The games division showed a profit for that quarter. They're still a long way from erasing that gaping 6 billion dollar wound that the games division has created. And now that the Halo trilogy is over they're going to somehow come up with another blockbuster on the same scale, or greater.

        Personally, I don't see how they're going to do it. They bought Bungie just for the game that became Halo, but other studios, like Rare, have yet to produce anything resembling a hit. I think they're screwed. They're never going to recoup the initial investment.
        • by Erwos (553607)
          "Personally, I don't see how they're going to do it."

          Gears of War 2, of course. How soon people forget how many zillions of copies that game sold.
    • Off games, they technically are making a profit on games, its just the actual console that makes a loss. I always found that strange because I thought selling something cheaper AND at a loss against a competitor was grounds for antitrust or similar for trying to force competitors out of the market. Though its likely Im not a lawyer for a reason.
      • The Xbox 360 and PS3 are considered "loss leaders", similar to Gillette sending out razor handles and then making a killing on the razor blades themselves.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loss_leader [wikipedia.org]
      • by iainl (136759)
        You're not allowed to sell a loss leader at less than the physical component cost. But the reason the 360 sells at a loss isn't component costs, it's R&D, infrastructure and those legendary repairs.
      • by flewp (458359)
        I have no idea, as I've seen conflicting reports, but are MS still taking a loss on the actual production on each machine? Not counting R&D, warranties, etc, is MS able to sell the consoles for more than the materials and manufacturing costs yet? I know that's only a small part of the story, but I'm wondering how much the actual production process has been refined.
  • by Liquidrage (640463) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @12:19PM (#21672891)
    At least in the US and Europe. And it's enough, even with bad sales in Japan, to say it has good sales. So this is no surprise.

    And it's clearly the best mover of games (please spare me Sport and Play since the opportunity for 3rd parties to have their games inlcuded with the console or a second remote is slim to none) based on sales.

    Even when looking at games available on all systems, the 360 cleans up.

    It was a great fall for the 360 considering the releases:
    Halo, Guitar Hero 3, The Orange Box, Call of Duty 4, Assassians Creed, Mass Effect, Rock Band, amongst other lesser titles.

    That's a pretty impressive list for people that like "games". And what is being missed by some is that in those titles there's really some new things. Orange Box has Portal. AC took interactive environments to a new level letting you scale nearly every single building in the game. Rock band is rock band. Mass Effect introduced a new dialog system to the new standard for action-RPG's that let the game unfold like a movie.
    • by Danse (1026)

      Mass Effect introduced a new dialog system to the new standard for action-RPG's that let the game unfold like a movie.
      Unfortunately that wasn't enough to save the game from getting boring and repetitive very quickly. It's pretty to look at, but the gameplay can't even match Oblivion, and even Oblivion needed a major overhaul to actually have any staying power. Too bad we can't mod Mass Effect, it has some very good potential.
      • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:04PM (#21673589) Homepage
        I would have to disagree...uncovering some part of the game universe via the codex, going on varied side quests, and just simply discovering more of the main plotline kept it interesting for me from the start right up until the credits began to roll. If anything (other than the obvious technical issues), my biggest gripe is that the game wasn't LONGER...I was a little upset that I finished it as quickly as I did, even with all of the side quests and such that I did. Realistically, I could have completed the main storyline in under 15 hours...a game like this should have at LEAST a 30-40 hour storyline with 15-30 hours of sidequests...a bit suprised at how short it was.

        Regardless of that, it was still an awesome game...fighting was intense, storyline was interesting, the choices were truly difficult at times, and the production values were sky high. Only the second game that I have started playing a second time as soon as I finished it (the first game I played back to back like that was Secret of Mana 2)
        • by Danse (1026)

          I would have to disagree...uncovering some part of the game universe via the codex, going on varied side quests, and just simply discovering more of the main plotline kept it interesting for me from the start right up until the credits began to roll.

          Except that all the sidequests are basically the same thing. So are all the guns and outfits. The enemies are generally morons. The MAKO vehicle is a pain. If it wasn't for the graphics, music and dialog, the game wouldn't be worth playing. It's just really lacking in the gameplay department.

          • by Pojut (1027544)
            While the guns and outfits may look similar, they definately play differently...sure, the guns may not make as big of a difference as they do in say rainbow six vegas, but the three stats produce a very noticible difference from one to the next. The side missions, I thought, were similar enough to not seem out of left field but different enough for them to be worth doing. The MAKO definately could have used some work in terms of control, but it was fun sending it flying off cliffs :-)

            As far as general gam
      • by vonPoonBurGer (680105) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:52PM (#21674539)

        the gameplay can't even match Oblivion
        Well, to each their own I suppose. Personally, I hated Oblivion, but I love Mass Effect. I didn't like the "use it to level it" system they use in the Elder Scrolls series. Mass Effect lets you level a skill into competency before you start using it. I didn't like the way quests were scattered all over the damn place right from the get-go in Oblivion. The quests you get introduced to in Mass Effect are always in the same system that you're currently in, or an adjoining system. I didn't like the travel time to get to new areas in Oblivion. Travel to areas both new and old is near-instant in Mass Effect. I didn't like the way that enemies scaled in Oblivion, making me feel like I was really on a pointless levelling treadmill. I really felt a sense of growing more powerful with Mass Effect. Oblivion's story never really grabbed me, the Mass Effect story was a lot more interesting and well-told, for my money.

        But the thing I hated most about Oblivion was the impossibly wide scope of the world. It took too long to get anywhere initially, and it was too easy to get side-tracked. Seriously, in hour two of Oblivion I was being given quests on the complete opposite side of the game world, in the complete opposite direction from the main storyline. Why?? How does that add to the game?? Maybe it's just me, but it felt like the gameplay equivalent of waterboarding: here's a bucket full of choices, let's pour them all right up your nose. With Mass Effect, I can fully explore most uncharted jump points in about an hour, including exploring the planets, scanning everything, taking care of any side quests there, etc. Makes it a lot easier to just take bite-sized chunks of the game, and I never feel like I'm being drowned in choices.

        Assassin's Creed has something similar with its viewpoint system. Each city is divided into quarters (well, thirds really, things like the Poor Quarter, the Merchant Quarter and the Rich Quarter). In each quarter are half a dozen or so tall vantage points which are premarked on your map. You can scale one of these towers and survey the area, which will put all mission objective in the vicinity of that tower on a map. While the cities are quite large and complex, you can easily break them down into smaller chunks, and clear out each chunk before moving on to the next one. Mass Effect uses the multiple layers of the galaxy map (Galaxy > Jump Node > System > Planet) to do the same thing. I think for a lot of gamers, this sort of thing is a really important feature to include in any game with a significant measure of openness and nonlinearity in the game world. Without it, people like me play the game for a couple hours, get overwhelmed with too many choices and not enough tools to track them, and then leave and never come back.

        Too bad we can't mod Mass Effect, it has some very good potential.
        I'd say it's a given that there will eventually be a PC port of Mass Effect, probably around the six month mark from Mass Effect's release. I'm sure enterprising PC users will find a way to tweak the game. There are certainly lots of issues that could use addressing (loading times, texture caching, the cover system, and oh god, the interface system), but I think it says a lot about the game that I am completely willing to tolerate its flaws in order to experience the core gameplay. Personally, the mod I'm looking forward to is called Mass Effect 2. If I were giving notes to Bioware, I'd say convince Microsoft to let you cache to disk on those systems that have a hard drive, make the cover system work like the one in RB6: Vegas, overhaul the inventory system, but otherwise just open up another 3rd of the galaxy for me to explore and fill it with new content.
        • by flitty (981864)

          Maybe it's just me, but it felt like the gameplay equivalent of waterboarding: here's a bucket full of choices,

          This should be on the back of Oblivon's box for advertising.
        • Yea, I love the Mass Effect story. I loved it more though when it was called Star Control. Sure they claim never to have played SC2, but they're fucking lying.

          Oh, and the close-ups look like ass. Everyone has been injected with copious amounts of botox, they have dead zombie eyes, and it just looks poor, unstylized and lazy, like something someone tossed together in Poser 4 about 10 years ago.
        • by Danse (1026)

          I didn't like the way that enemies scaled in Oblivion, making me feel like I was really on a pointless levelling treadmill. I really felt a sense of growing more powerful with Mass Effect. Oblivion's story never really grabbed me, the Mass Effect story was a lot more interesting and well-told, for my money.

          After playing for a couple of days, I truly despised Oblivion's level-scaling. We were not alone in that, as that was one of the first things that mods were created to fix. Well, that and the horrible xboxy interface. Mass Effect definitely does a better job of storytelling than Oblivion.

          But the thing I hated most about Oblivion was the impossibly wide scope of the world. It took too long to get anywhere initially, and it was too easy to get side-tracked. Seriously, in hour two of Oblivion I was being given quests on the complete opposite side of the game world, in the complete opposite direction from the main storyline. Why?? How does that add to the game??

          The world isn't very big in the game. In fact, that's been one of the big complaints that a lot of people have had, and there are several mods in the works that expand the size quite a bit, the equivalent of adding ne

        • by el_benito (586634)
          I could appreciate the frustration if not for the fast-travel system present in Oblivion. You could essentially fly to any landmark you'd previously seen without having to suffer the meaningless incidental combat along the way. It can be argued that it can take you out of the moment, but it sounds like you should try using it more.
    • But I don't like any of the games you mentioned about and I own a Wii, but keep (fairly) up with gaming news. Does that make me a bad person, an outlier, or is it possible there are a lot of people like me?
      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        You don't like ANY of the games on that list? I find that kind of hard to believe. What if the list included the more casual titles, like Viva Pinata?
      • by brkello (642429)
        None of them? Really? Well, I can't criticize you...we all have our own preferences. Right now there isn't anything compelling to me on the Wii which probably would be read as blasphemy on here. The Wii certainly is an interesting console and I am all for getting more people in to my hobby. I don't quite understand all the fanboyism though. I like that I have a choice...a lot. And that the choices this time are distinct in multiple ways. No matter what you like, you have to admit it is a pretty good
    • Even when looking at games available on all systems, the 360 cleans up.

      No it doesn't. That's a matter of opinion. The XBox has very little genre coverage and suffers from pretty much the exact same problem the original XBox had. Very few unique games that aren't better on the PC.

      Let's look at your list:
      Halo - A mediocre single player fps, redeemed only by multiplayer.
      Guitar Hero 3 - Can play it on a PS2, and everyone owns a PS2.
      Orange Box - An inferior port of a PC title.
      Call of Duty 4 - See Orange Box.
      A
      • That was in reference to game sales. How could you take any other way? The 360 outsells Wii and PS3 buy a large amount in games like GH3, Madden, etc. GH3 sold better on the 360 then the PS2 btw.

        No, and stop looking at "my list". You can crap on it all you want, but it doesn't mean you've got a good point. Sales show most people don't think like you.
        • Sales show most people like licensed games. Sales show the original Pokemon for the GBC set a nigh-unbreakable bar of 15 million units sold in north america alone. Sales show Titanic is one of the greatest movies of all time. If you wanted to list cold hard sales data you should have listed cold hard sales data and refrained from any comments as to quality/originality, but you chose not to. You instead chose to spout untruths about innovation in the 360 lineup, which is almost barren of that quality, ou
          • No jackass. I covered a few things. I talked about sales first, which is what the story was about. And that was based on facts.

            Then I put forth my opinion on the originality of the fall lineup. I ever clarified that when I noted that people aren't talking about the originality much. Learn to read dumbass. I even went so far as to briefly explain the parts of the game I thought were original.

            Is two things in a reply too much for you to follow or something? Everyone else seemed to grasp it OK. Maybe ins
            • Something strike a nerve, some reason to resort to personal attacks? Well, if that's the way it be, so be it.

              Learn to fucking write. I don't see a SINGLE reply to you about sales. NOT ONE. In fact there are TWO comments about game quality, so evidentally I'm not alone in not "getting" that your post was about sales and not a value judgement on quality(I think it's pretty obvious my initial reply was a statement as to quality). This supposed legion of people who got what you meant apparently felt no nee
              • Then how about my actual post dumb ass. You know the one titled "The 360 has always had good sales" and then starts off:

                "At least in the US and Europe. And it's enough, even with bad sales in Japan, to say it has good sales. So this is no surprise.

                And it's clearly the best mover of games (please spare me Sport and Play since the opportunity for 3rd parties to have their games inlcuded with the console or a second remote is slim to none) based on sales"

                So save your "you couldn't fucking understand I
                • You might want to you know link to those facts. Just a thought.

                  Your right

                  It's you're. Thanks for being a big man and admitting it though.
                  • No, it's "your". As in "it's your right to have an opinion". Not, "you are right". Because you're not.

                    Hell, you want a link. Sure. How about in the games section of /. in a newer story devoted to nothing but sales.
      • Halo - that's your opinion. Many Halo fans are of the opinion that it's an excellent single-player FPS. Your opinion is very far from universal.
        GH3 - PS2 doesn't have online play or downloadable tracks.
        Rock Band - again, PS2 (Wii version is not confirmed) version doesn't have online play or downloadable tracks... and that cuts a lot of the game out, because Rock Band's DLC is excellent.
        Mass Effect - no one really cares if a game rips off another game, as long as it does it well. I haven't played Star Con
        • I never claimed it was anything other than my opinion. And yes, a lot of Halo fans are of the opinion that the single player aspect of the game is good. Frequently, these people have not played many other FPSes. If it was a PC title, it would rate as maybe Average. Well, actually, Halo and Halo 2 for the PC rated as abysmal, but that's more due to lazy ports than anything else.

          Also, you should play star control 2. It's free [sourceforge.net] now. The plot/story elements are very similar to mass effect, gameplay is diff
          • I know you didn't claim that your opinion on Halo was anything else, my point was that your (highly minority) opinion isn't really cause to say that Halo 3 isn't a good reason to buy a 360 in general, which is what you seem to be claiming.
        • by Criterion (51515)
          I feel truly sad for anyone that has not played Star Control 2. Maybe you should try it and then you can judge whether Mass Effect did a good job of copying or not ;). Most of the posts I've read by people that have seem to find it... lacking in comparison. I can't judge first hand as I've not played Mass Effect.. I've been interested in it somewhat but now that the similarity to SC2 has been pointed out and I've read more about it I am a bit more eager to check it out, mainly due to how DAMN good SC2 was (

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