Microsoft's $3 billion man

You could say it was Microsoft's best buy ever. And with Halo 4 out in time for the holidays, it might be the gift that keeps giving.

TEC12 halo 1

Twelve years ago Microsoft bought Bungie, a small, Chicago-based maker of hard-core games. Outraged fans claimed its upcoming Halo game would be watered down. Not so much. After seven titles and 43 million copies sold, the Halo series it created is a profit machine. (Estimated at under $40 million, the Bungie buy is arguably Microsoft's most successful ever -- sales have reached an estimated $3 billion.) Here is a look at the massive moneymaker's evolution (and total sales).

Halo

Date: Nov. 15, 2001
Sold: 6.43 million

Coinciding with the launch of Microsoft's first console, Halo: Combat Evolved sold 1 million units in just under five months, a record.


This story is from the November 12, 2012 issue of Fortune.
  @FortuneMagazine - Last updated November 13 2012 05:59 AM ET
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