Proving that betas serve pretty darn well as marketing tools, Microsoft have released stats showing that 1.29 million people played Gears of War 3 during its four-week beta period and that there have already been a whopping 1 million pre-orders logged for the third-person shooter.

Here’s the beta stats in full:

· 1.29 million people participated in the beta
· 145 different countries participated in the beta
· 249 years worth of matches played
· More than 11 million matches completed
· More than 927 million kills recorded
· More than 131 million executions performed
· More than 23 million deaths by chainsaw
· Nearly 23 BILLION bullets fired
· 460 million ribbons and 294 million medals earned
· 435 thousand people earned the beta exclusive Thrashball Cole skin to use in the retail game when it launches in September
· 234 thousand people earned the beta exclusive Gold Retro Lancer to use in the retail game when it launches in September

“An overwhelming success – we can’t thank the fans enough,” larked Epic Games Design Director Cliff Bleszinski. “While the beta was a fun way to give players an early taste of our game, it also provided us with invaluable feedback to help us refine and polish Gears of War 3 to ensure it’s truly the culmination of the trilogy we promised to the fans.”