Will Gears of War 2 Challenge Halo 3 Records? (MSFT, GME)

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There is another blockbuster gaming event this week on November 7: the release of "Gears of War 2 " The game published by Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) Game Studio’s unit and developed by Epic Games Inc. comes on the heels of the original "Gears of War" which sold more than 5 million copies. 

While the figures are going to be hard to compare, this looks like ithas a shot at being one of the top video game releases of this year.

This launch also follows a unified two-disc version of "Gears of War"from July 6 which includes the complete Gears of War experience,including the previously released multi-player map packs, the Annexgame mode, and eight additional multi-player achievements.

"Gears of War 2" is another massive title to what is now the "Gears ofWar" franchise, which is second for Microsoft in this Sci-Fi FPS genreto the wildly famous Halo games.  Microsoft soft sold $170 million from "Halo 3" in its first 24-hour period and the three Halo releaseshave sold more than 20 million copies combined since released.

The game comes with a sticker price of $59.99 or the Limited Edition at$69.99.  We may see a record on this, but either way this isanother huge event for the video game sector.  I called the closestGameStop (NYSE: GME) which confirmed that you can go in the store andput down a deposit to get a purchase guaranteed in the first two days.It is also a large enough event that the store is having a midnightsale release.

The game already achieved Gold Status early last month.  Marcus Fenixmay be no Master Chief in total sales yet, but being a number two inthis race is still a major win.  If the game is a fraction as good asthe many game previews and reviews, it is a safe bet that this willalso be one of the big Christmas gifts this year.

Jon C. Ogg
November 3, 2008