Geared Up for the Holiday Season

Rivaling the media spectacle and fan anticipation of a blockbuster movie's opening weekend, the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system launched its exclusive title, "Gears of War 2," worldwide at 12:01 a.m. local time Friday, Nov. 7. A total of 20,000 retail locations in 20 countries opened their doors to the crowds waiting to get their hands on this must-have entertainment experience. Fans and critics around the world have been predicting that "Gears of War 2," will be the biggest blockbuster of the 2008 holiday season.

Each holiday season in this current console generation, Xbox 360 has led the industry with the best lineup of blockbuster video games, and are poised to lead the charge again in 2008 with "Gears of War 2." Holding the title of fastest-selling video game of 2006, The Original 'Gears of War' has sold more than 5 million units to date, and this next chapter in the franchise will raise the bar yet again."

Under the creative leadership of Cliff Bleszinski, the team at Epic Games Inc. has pushed the franchise into bold new territory, greatly expanding upon the game's themes of hope, survival and loss. In "Gears of War 2," the last cities on Sera are sinking, swallowed by a new Locust threat from below. As Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad pursue the Locust, the mission turns deeply personal for Dominic Santiago as he uncovers clues in the search for his missing wife, Maria.

Epic's goal was to create an emotionally engaging experience that will not only satisfy core gamers, but also attract new players who want to experience something similar to watching a heart pounding movie that draws you in and doesn't let you go until the very end. With 'Gears of War 2,' Epic is taking storytelling in the Gears universe to places it's never been before, with the hopes it will deeply connect with everyone playing the game alone or with friends.

To usher in the much-anticipated launch of "Gears of War 2" in the United States, more than 10,000 retail stores opened their doors at 12:01 a.m. local time on Nov. 7. At Midnight Mayhem flagship events in Los Angeles, New York City and Bellevue, Wash., attendees had the opportunity to win limited edition "Gears of War 2" Xbox 360 consoles, receive autographed copies of the game, and meet the creators from Epic Games. In addition, fans who purchased "Gears of War 2" at any participating retailer during Midnight Mayhem received an exclusive Xbox LIVE token to download in-game exclusive content used during multiplayer gameplay.

Since the launch of "Gears of War 2", sales at video game retailers across the world have been through the roof. With weekend sales topping 2 million units worldwide, "Gears of War 2" is well on its way to becoming one of the biggest releases of this console generation.

More than 1.5 million people logged into "Gears of War 2" on Xbox LIVE during the launch weekend, racking up a total 15 million gameplay hours and helping set a new record for concurrent Xbox LIVE players.