To promote the launch of Halo 4, Xbox 360
transformed parts of the European principality of Liechtenstein into an immersive Halo experience, giving devout fans and the media a chance to experience the game first-hand.
Four sets in Liechtenstein served as the stage for an epic stunt, with Gutenberg Castle becoming a futuristic military fortification, a local farmer's field turned into a military camp and a quarry doubling as a battlefield.
More than 70 Halo fans and members of the press were invited to take part in a two-hour role-play with 15 actors, complete with clues pinned to dead marines hanging from trees, a scientific dig, and an appearance from Master Chief himself, riding a Warthog armoured vehicle. See the video above to see exactly how the experience played out.
The event, which served as a prequel to the story of Halo 4, ended with participants marching into Gutenberg Castle for a debriefing with the computer-generated AI character of Cortana before being allowed to play the game itself. Chris Lewis
, vice-president of Microsoft EMEA's interactive entertainment business, said, '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.'
The Xbox 360 official magazine website contains a first-person account of the event
The game, created by 343 Industries
, launches worldwide exclusively for Xbox 360 on 6 November and JCPR
, London, created the campaign.Contagious Insight /
Despite being one of the most anticipated game launches of the year, Microsoft is clearly sparing no expense in ensuring that Halo 4 is front of mind for gamers this month, with other parts of the launch campaign including a trailer directed by David Fincher.
We know that Liechtenstein is small (c. 36,000 people) but we don't count four sets, one of which being a farmer's field, as a takeover of a whole country. However, that hasn't stopped the story getting widespread media coverage around the world, with news outlets from Brazil to Britain covering Master Chief's conquering of the principality.
Of course, it's the location that makes the story so PR friendly. Simply staging an experiential event for fans and journalists isn't a new idea, but doing it in a country small enough to be claimed to be taken over by a console game is an easy story for media outlets hungry for content to feed to their readers. Rather scarily, the actual number of Microsoft employees
could actually take over Liechtenstein if they decided to become aggressive, as their worldwide headcount outnumbers the principality's total population by more than two to one, so maybe we'll see that tactic crop up in the inevitable launch of Halo 5... www.xbox.com/Halo4 This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed firstname.lastname@example.org