Bungie has announced that Halo: Reach will launch in the US and Europe on September 14, and in Japan a day later.
The recent beta for the game saw more than 2.7 million players take part, logging 16 million hours and more than 1.1 billion kills during the 18-day test. Access to the beta was through last year's release, Halo: ODST.
"It's exceeded our expectations," said Bungie community director Brian Jarrard. "Our only real perspective going into this was the Halo 3 beta test, which had about 800,000 people. We knew there were a couple million copies of ODST' out there, but we really didn't have any specific information that let us know what the population might be like."
"There really is tons of analytical data that we need to derive from the beta test with regard to the network and back-end systems," added creative director Marcus Lehto.
"We needed our fans to provide feedback. We needed a very large audience to hammer on this game, which allows us to use the data that really helps shape the final product."
Reach is the last Halo game from Bungie, and once it's out the door, the team will be firmly committed to its new 10-year deal with Activision.
"It's absolutely bittersweet," offered Lehto. "We created this. I was there on day one in 1997 back when it was just three of us working on what ultimately became 'Halo.' Now, we have the largest team we've ever had on a 'Halo' game. We're having fun, but closing this series out as the leader of this project, I will definitely be sad when it's all over."
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