Last night, a mysterious glowing symbol flew over London - heralding the launch of a game predicted to outperform James Bond's Skyfall.
Halo 4 - the first Halo game in five years, is an eagerly awaited follow-up to one of the most successful game series of all time.
Halo has earned $3 billion for Microsoft in the past decade.
Mintel analyst Samuel Gee predicts that the new title could sell 700,000 in the UK - earning £28 million, more than three times the hit James Bond film Skyfall's £6.2m one-day take at the box office.
The title was launched by a mysterious 'Glyph' symbol - the Halo 4 logo - flying over London.
The Glyph was actually made of LEDs, measuring 50 feet in diameter and weighs 3.2 tons
It was one of the brightest man-made flying structures to ever be flown by helicopter.
A team of over 50 designers, engineers and fabricators created the Glyph.
There were 350 events up and down the UK and launch events around the world, many featuring actors in the green suit of 'Master Chief', the game's returning cyborg hero.
Master Chief - once a petty officer on a spaceship, now a galactic saviour many times over on Microsoft’s Xbox games console - is gruff, endowed with superhuman endurance, and is never to be seen without an assault rifle or plasma gun in his hand, and a grenade in the other.
The last Halo game sold nearly a million in the UK alone, priced at £40 per disc. Nine million Halo novels have sold worldwide, and 650,000 copies of the game’s orchestral. Halo 3, was at the time, the biggest entertainment launch of all time, measured by first-day sales.
With $3 billion earnings under its belt, Halo is one of an elite group of billion-pound entertainment franchises including films such as Star Wars.
Maker Microsoft is aware that the games are no longer niche entertainment. Halo 4 was advertised in breaks in the X Factor - where adverts cost £8,000 a second, the most expensive on television.
The advert was directed by David Fincher, award-winning cinema director of films such as The Social Network, with effects from Hollywood artists.
Halo 4 is the most expensive game Microsoft has ever produced. Microsoft game studios head Phil Spencer said, ‘Nothing’s even close.’
Games now have budgets close to those of the biggest Hollywood blockbusters, with Electronic Arts’s recent flop Star Wars: the Old Republic having cost a reported $200 million.
Figures from the Electronic Retailers Association show that in the UK, games account for £1.93 billion of sales per year.
DVD and videos are in second, with £1.80 billion spent - music is a distant third with £1.07 billion.
Celebrity Halo fans include Jonathan Ross, the Gadget Show’s Jason Bradbury and Rio Ferdinand.