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A bet amongst friends


A good friend of mine was kind enough to wake me up before noon the other day just because he "was in the neighborhood." I sluggishly pulled myself out of bed and let him in.

After playing some games, we got to talking about Halo Reach. He says he's gotten over Halo, which I don't believe (for Halo 2 he blasted the Halo theme song all the way to EB). I explain how Reach is sparking my interest in the series again, and he tries to convince me that it's going to tank.

He of course quickly retracted that statement because even he knows if Halo is on the cover it's going to sell well. I continue hyping it, and he's convinced it's not going to sell very well. In fact, he figures it will sell less than Halo 3 did. I of course told him he was mad, and he responded with "well it sure as hell won't beat MW2's sales."

Now I thought about that for about two seconds before agreeing, because how can it compete with a multi-platform game? He took it a step further then, and said, "well it won't even do better than it on the 360 alone."

He had me there. I quickly ran some numbers in my head, and logic told me that it was possible. He laid down a bet saying that if Reach beats MW2's first week numbers on the 360 he'll buy my copy. If it doesn't then I have to buy his. I shook on it immediately.

Without taking into account any forces of nature, the odds are in my favor. Halo 3 had a ridiculous attach rate, somewhere around 30% if I remember correctly, in its first week. At that time there were only about 12 million 360s on the market. Right now (so not including sales up to the release of Reach) 360 sales sit at damn near close to 40 million. That means that in order to beat MW2's first week sales (about 4.9m) I only need Reach to have a 12.5% attach rate on week one. I then thought that the xbox live user attach rate might be more important. The latest numbers I could get were from 2008, where unique users sat around 20 million. Even just using that number, I'd only need a 25% attach rate, which is still lower than that of Halo 3. I'm sure they will sell another few hundred thousand 360s by Reach's release date. I'm also sure that Microsoft will release a special limited super ultimate edition Reach 360 with a 250 gig hard drive to push even more 360s out the door than the game will alone.

On top of that, I'm confident in a couple more things. Come November, I'm sure MW2 will release a new map pack in and around that time to try and retain as many players as they can. This will be necessary because players will probably start to burn out a bit on MW2. Luckily for Bungie, the audience is all but identical for Reach and MW2.

Lastly, Microsoft plans on spending even more money on marketing for Reach than they spent on Halo 3. I don't know if you remember how ridiculous the advertising campaign was for Halo 3, but needless to say Reach's campaign will have to be insane.

So what do you think? Will Reach hit the magic 5 million unit mark in week one? Personally, I think if the marketing is done well, and the Beta is very well received (which I'm sure it will -- aside from maybe those jet packs...blah), Reach could push 6 million units in the first week -- maybe more.

That's all for now! Back to studying....last final on Thursday.

Have a good one!