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Halo Effect on Video Games?

Tuesday, 14 Sep 2010 | 3:38 PM ET

Today I'm reporting from a GameStop, where customers have been lined up since before the store opened to buy "Halo: Reach."

Halo - Reach
Source: Microsoft
Halo - Reach

Analysts tell me that based on pre-sales and last night's turnout "Halo:Reach" is on track to be the biggest Halo game yet, selling some seven million copies by year-end.

Four thousand GameStops around the country plus four hundred Best Buy stores opened for the early-morning launch for the throngs buying the $60 game and the $150 special-edition version, replete with action figures.

The gamers here say that this is exactly the kind of event that gets them to spend: it's been three years since the last Halo game and momentum has been building since then.

This is a hit-driven business and when there are no "must-have" launches gamers simply stay home.

The "Halo" Effect
The Halo video game franchise is on track to surpass $2 billion in sales this week, reports CNBC's Julia Boorstin. Dan Ackerman, of CNET.com, tells CNBC whether the blockbuster game can reignite gamers.

Halo's big launch comes after a disappointing August: video game sales sank 14 percent to their lowest level since 2006, according to NPD.

But now analysts are hoping that Halo ushers in a far healthier season of video game sales.

Halo is expected to have a Halo effect on sales at Best Buy and Game Stop, getting gamers excited to spend again.

And another couple big games due out this fall should help maintain momentum: next up Modern Warfare Black Opps from Activision Blizzard on November 9th.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com
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  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.