Microsoft is understandably chuffed, which is why it announced the above statistics in a self-celebratory press release issued to every media outlet in the known galaxy. All of whom were happy to join Microsoft in slapping the corporation on the back, and giving them a meaty fist-bump.
However, there were a few omissions amid Microsoft's figures, which have seemingly been overlooked by most.
Immediately obvious is that the one key statistic Microsoft neglected to announce was the actual number of Halo 5 units shifted. $400 million sounds like a lot of money, but that's sales - not profit - of the allegedly $250 million-budget game (a budget that is unlikely to include the enormous amount of money Microsoft has spent on marketing, and live action trailers and the like). And neither is it the number of copies of Halo 5 which have been sold.
That small fact was one that virtually every news outlet failed to mention, along with failing to point out that the figure also includes Xbox One/Halo 5 hardware bundles... which cost upwards of £300 in the UK.
The question is: why is nobody flagging this up? Why is nobody finding it as fishy as I do?
I don't blame Microsoft for issuing a press release showing off about the success of Halo 5.
Clearly, the game has done alright - it is unlikely to be any sort of flop - but there would've been an almost identical press release sent out regardless of how well the game did.
Microsoft has invested a rumoured $250 million in Halo 5, and it isn't going to pass up on any opportunity to spin some positive headlines - but that's all it is: spin. If I'd spent that much money on making something, I wouldn't waste any opportunity to promote it, and twist the figures in my favour.
However, there are whispers on the grapevine - being fuelled in part by Microsoft's lack of actual concrete sales figures - that Halo 5 might not have sold as well at launch as Halo 4.
It also whiffs vaguely of conspiracy that Microsoft would include hardware bundle sales in its figures, mentioning that fact almost under its breath. Counting hardware bundles as well as individual unit sales is an extremely unconventional thing to do - and it almost seems as if Microsoft might have something to hide, that it wants to dazzle news editors with big numbers and dollar signs, so they miss the obvious.
GET ME WRONG
Don't get me wrong: I don't want Halo 5 to fail. I mean, I didn't love the game - I felt it lacked ambition, ultimately, and have never loved any of the Halo games. But I get that it has its fans - blindly rabid as many of them are - and I don't wish ill of it. If I didn't feel a duty to review it, I'd have just ignored it.
Nevertheless, I find it troubling, and more than a little suspect, that every news source, almost without fail, is publishing Microsoft's spin verbatim, without reading between the lines.
That sort of blinkered reporting by supposedly trusted news outlets is precisely why we're slaves to a society ruled by corporations and billionaires. It allows "them" to pull the wool over our eyes, and gives us a skewed perception of the world we live in. It doesn't matter whether Halo 5 is a flop or not - because they want us to think Halo 5 is a smash no matter what.
That's just marketing, and every single news story you've read about Halo 5 breaking records is nothing more than free advertising, part of a conspiracy that's complicit in helping a massive company succeed in its agenda. Which is fine: it happens all the time.
But it's not news.