Halo 5
Fireteam Osiris, led by playable character Locke in Halo 5: Guardians.Microsoft

Lifetime sales for the Halo series have passed the $5bn (£3.2bn) mark following the launch of Halo 5: Guardians. Microsoft has been celebrating what it calls the biggest launch in the series' history, generating $400 million in software and, crucially, hardware sales.

The inclusion of hardware (most likely the Halo 5 special edition consoles) is sneaky, and bumps up the numbers considerably – undermining Microsoft's "biggest launch" claim. However, all the numbers add up to a successful launch, even if it isn't strictly the biggest of the series.

More than 21 million hours of gameplay have been logged since launch on 27 October - split between 12 million hours in the co-op-led campaign and 9 million in multiplayer. Seven million matches have been played in the Arena and Warzone modes within the multiplayer side.

And now, the boring quote part which has been fed through the PR machine.

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

That line-up includes Forza Motorsport 6, which launched in September, and Rise of the Tomb Raider which arrives next week (13 November).

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