By Malathi Nayak
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said the "Halo 4" video game that it released last week racked up $220 million in global sales on its launch day, beating records set by previous installments of its hit game series.
Action-shooter "Halo 4" -- released last Tuesday -- is on its way to reach $300 million in global sales in its first week, making it the biggest launch in the decade-old Halo franchise's history, the company said.
The previous installment "Halo: Reach," the fourth game in the series, was launched in September 2010 and raked in $200 million in global sales on launch-day.
"We're thrilled that ‘Halo 4' has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios.
Shares of the world's largest software company were down 2 percent in afternoon trading at $28.31 on Nasdaq.
The Halo series, made by Microsoft Game Studios, spearheaded the company's foray into gaming that began with the 2001 launch of the first Xbox.
"Halo 4" is a key title for Microsoft heading into the holiday shopping season.
Industry watchers say "Halo 4" sales figures will shed light on whether the well-received game can revive flagging videogame sales or surpass "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2", which goes on sale on Tuesday and will vie for the title of 2012's top-selling game. The first-person shooter series, published by rival Activision Blizzard Inc is now the biggest title on the Xbox.
(Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Dan Grebler)