Microsoft on Tuesday announced that a new installment to the hit videogame "Halo" will be released in November, and predicted it would launch the next decade of the hugely popular franchise.
"Halo 4" crafted exclusively for play on Microsoft's Xbox 360 consoles will launch worldwide on November 6, according to the Washington State-based technology giant.
"We are beginning a new saga with 'Halo 4' and embarking on a journey that will encompass the next decade of 'Halo' games," Microsoft Studios corporate vice president Phil Spencer said in a release.
"Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief," he continued, referring to a heroic soldier that players control in the videogames.
Spencer predicted that "Halo 4" help make 2012 the most successful year in Xbox history.
The videogame features the return of Master Chief to confront "an ancient evil that threatens the entire universe."
The third installment in the blockbuster franchise concluded the original game trilogy. The "Halo" franchise has sold more than 40 million games globally.
A "Halo: Reach" videogame for the Xbox 360 console notched up 200 million dollars in sales in the United States and Europe on the first day of its release in September 2010.
US sales alone made "Halo: Reach" the biggest entertainment launch of the year, surpassing the three-day opening weekends of Hollywood blockbusters "Iron Man 2," "Alice in Wonderland" and "Toy Story 3," Microsoft said.
"Halo: Reach" is a prequel set before the main "Halo" trilogy, which focuses on a super-soldier called "Master Chief" and his artificial-intelligence companion battling to save humanity from an alien alliance called the Covenant.
The first title, "Halo: Combat Evolved," was released in 2001 and the franchise has attracted a cult following and inspired novels, action figures, comic books and clothing.
© 2012 AFP