#LOS #ANGELES – Gamers lined up late Monday waiting to get their hands on the latest chapter in the massive video-game franchise, “Halo.”
After three years of waiting, ” #Halo 5: Guardians” hit shelves making it the biggest salvo yet in this year’s battle for video-game dollars. Gamers who have followed Microsoft’s science-fiction space-battle game since its very first iteration in 2001 hoped to be the among the first to take control of their beloved protagonist – space warrior dubbed Master Chief. The #game went on sale at midnight Eastern time.
The game’s release ended years of waiting for Halo fans. “I like robots and space,” says Estefania Johnson, 24, of Los Angeles who was planning to buy a copy. “Alot of people play this game.”
The Microsoft Store in Los Angeles – located in a high-end mall – was bursting with sounds of explosions as characters from the game strolled around interacting with fans waiting for the game to go on sale. Inside, giant screens showing the game were displayed giving eager gamers their first crack at seeing it.
The stakes are high both technically and business-wise for Microsoft. “Halo” is routinely the title that showcases what Microsoft itself can do on its Xbox platform and prompt other developers to push the pixels to a new level on their games for the console. The company has spent an estimated $100 million developing the game, estimates Bloomberg without confirmation from Microsoft, to make “Halo 5” a hit that will sell Xbox consoles and help close the gap with Sony’s PlayStation 4. Halo is perhaps the biggest ammo Microsoft has – as it’s a supremely popular game that’s only been available on Xbox. Halo 5 is the first chapter of the game’s 13 titles to be available on Microsoft’s latest console, the Xbox One.
“Halo has been the face of the Xbox,” says Reunald Jones, 35, of Los Angeles who was attending the Los Angeles launch party. “This would attract people to the Xbox One.”
“Halo” is not the only game in town. Much buzz is also centering around Activision Blizzard’s upcoming “Call of Duty” – which is a top seller on multiple platforms including the Xbox One.
But Halo is the first big title right before the holiday season, which is the time of video-game blockbuster releases. “It’s the next big thing,” says Merino Emanuel, 30, who has bought and played every “Halo” title. “I went to see if they got it right,” he says.
SOURCE: USA TODAY
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