In possibly the biggest publicity stunt for a videogame ever, Microsoft have enlisted the help of a whole country to promote the soon to be released Halo 4.
The Xbox team transformed the Principality of Liechtenstein by taking over some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, including a 13 th century castle and a working mine, to create a real-life replica of the Halo universe within the heart of Europe.
The mountainous landscapes of the normally tranquil Liechtenstein countryside became a stage for an epic sci-fi saga as fans and worldwide media from 16 different countries were treated to a mysterious alternate universe inspired by the video game franchise which has sold a staggering 46 million copies worldwide since launch in 2001.
Working with the government-owned Liechtenstein Marketing, which promotes Liechtenstein as a tourism destination and a place to do business, the unique makeover included:
· Reimagining a 13 th Century Castle – standing on a 70-metre high spur of rock, Gutenberg Castle, one of the most important historical landmarks of Liechtenstein, took on a new guise as a futuristic military fortification where guests become among the first to play “Halo 4”
· Overtaking an entire quarry – a working mine became a jaw-dropping arena for sci-fi adventure, with an appearance from the hero of “Halo 4”, the Master Chief, amidst a series of pyrotechnic explosions
· Creating a Military Camp in the countryside – a local farmer’s field become a post-apocalyptic battle ground
· Finishing touches included the use of bespoke props, special effects and pyrotechnics
· Immersive theatre –15 actors took guests on a two-hour adventure which involved decoding a series of cryptic clues to help save mankind from extinction by fighting off the threat of an attack
Microsoft have stated that Halo 4 is their most expensive game yet, eclipsing the $6.5 million they dedicated to Halo 3 and this event highlights the marketing muscle companies are providing for the big money business that videogames now provide.
““Halo” is a $3 billion blockbuster franchise which has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers,” said Chris Lewis, Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft EMEA. “From the world’s first ever red-carpet premieres for a video game to sending a man strapped to a jet-pack 50-foot above London’s iconic skyline, “Halo” launches have continually broken the mould and we are back with a colossal bang for “Halo 4”, transforming a country on the biggest scale imaginable”.
Halo 4 launches on November 6th.
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