Entertainment retailers are opening hundreds of stores at midnight tonight for the much anticipated release of the new Halo computer game.
HMV is planned to open 70 flagship stores for the launch whilst Game will have 400 outlets open at 00:01 BST.
Released on the Xbox 360 platform, Halo: Reach officially goes on sale tomorrow but a leaked version has been illegally available on the internet for several weeks.
Huge interest and demand for this latest instalment of the record breaking game series is expected to give games retailers a much needed surge in sales
Tim Ellis, Head of Games at HMV, commented: “There are some massive games titles due out over the next few weeks and months, and this great Christmas line up very definitely kicks off with Halo: Reach, which is hugely-anticipated by gamers, and has been one of our most-ever pre-ordered games titles on hmv.com.
“So we want to give the army of Halo-Reach fans the earliest possible opportunity to get their hands on it by opening many of our larger stores around the country at midnight on Monday - as soon as we’re officially able to sell the game.”
According to a survey conducted by website Gamesindustry.biz, ndustry professionals predict Halo: Reach will be the biggest selling computer game of 2010.
Kim Bayley, Director General of the Entertainment Retailers Association, said: “2010 has been a tough year for the games business, but we’re beginning to see really strong new releases coming through.
“Retailers are putting a lot of promotional muscle behind Halo Reach and we are all hoping for a good result.”
Halo games have sold over 34 million copies worldwide, and all Halo merchandise has grossed more than £1 billion.
Reach will be sold in three different editions, a standard edition which will just contain the game and also a limited edition and legendary edition which will both be sold with additional merchandise.