Halo 4: Making of Hottest New Xbox Game

Behind the scenes of the new chapter of a $3 billion blockbuster franchise.
5:05 | 11/24/12

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Transcript for Halo 4: Making of Hottest New Xbox Game
Tens of millions stormed the stores for black friday, named in part for the kind of robust business that pushes retailers well into the black and one of the biggest sellers today, the latest version of the video game halo. Which sold almost 4 million units in just the first week on shelves. Halo just one reason why video games are quickly eclipsing hollywood block busters for pure profit. And abc's neal karlinsky explains why. Action! Big cameras, big special effects. And a music score by a full orchestra in england. World class artists and a crew of hundreds, and what you get is the lead contender for this year's biggest entertainment block buster. Not a movie, a video game. Halo 4, the latest in what's become a $3 billion franchise, all based around a game played on microsoft's xbox. Even more surprising, this male dominated hit game is run by a hip, working mom from seattle. I think it's a cultural phenomenon. I think that it's beyond the game. I think it's a beloved universe that fans love. Reporter: Take it from this father of an elementary school age boy. Halo is like star wars for a whole new generation. The shoot 'em up series of games which includes eight new york sometimes best sellers, toys and clothing, is based around a futuristic war between humans and an alien force called the covenant. I am getting -- I just died. Man, I just died a horrible death. Studio chief bonnie ross a taste of the action, along with the game's number two in charge, kiki wolfkill. Two women at the top of this male-dominated game, both, you know, the players and the people working on it. The game world is changing. We are seeing far more women come in, at a younger age, right? There are far more game programs in school and I think it's seen as a less intimidating world. Reporter: The game's brought in $22 million in its first 24 hours, eclipsing many hit movies. Ross says part of the reason is because games like halo are not just games. There is a detailed story and characters, too, which is staff obsesses over down to the smallest detail. The visuals are stunning, at times more like a movie than a game. Artists slave over every frame. There's even a lighting department, who art financially adds light and shadow. So, are you guys crazy perfectionists here or what? We are crazy perfection. Some of the lighting, not unlike a movie is about focusing the eye on where you want the player to go. Some of it is purely for sort of dramatic reasons. And some of it is to make it look real. Reporter: Sounds are all invented in-house. Ice cubes reacting to hot water and amplified. Even the sound of a game console's fan. Unknown. Reporter: Stage actress jen taylor prays the voice of cortana. Wake up, chief. Reporter: A main character. I need you. Reporter: She dons a suit, loaded with sensors and captured by a series of cameras to have her body digitally inserted into the game. Is it weird playing a video game character? No, it's awesome. Super fun. It's -- lovely to go and see all of your work and how it's been manife 50 people that take it and create this beautiful character. It's really fun. Reporter: Are you a gamer? Yeah, I'm a gamer. Reporter: It's a lot to manage and the process, just like a movie, takes years. And a massive, though undisclosed budget. How people spend their time is changing, you know? And I think the thing that's interesting about a game, i think, that's disht than a movie, you see a movie once at the theater, make a second time on dvd, or on demand. With a game, it's your story. And, you know, you keep going back and it's your story with friends. It is always new and fresh. Know where he's heading. Same place we are. Reporter: Fresh enough, she hopes, to take this multibillion dollar franchise far beyond halo 4. Between the games, stories and a series of web tv shows they've now launched, it plans for a movie some day. Bonnie ross believes halo could be a franchise for decades. Stay close to me. I'm your best chance for survival. Reporter: I feel like our universe and our ability to tell hundreds of stories in our universe, if we do it right, we should be able to tell stories for the next 20 years. Reporter: Look out, hollywood. I'm neal karlinsky for "nightline" in kirkland,

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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