LONDON, 31 st October 2012 - In a ground-breaking world first, Xbox 360 yesterday became the only brand to ever transform 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 to mark the launch of “Halo 4”.
For one day only, the mountainous landscapes of the normally tranquil Liechtenstein countryside became a stage for an epic sci-fi saga as Xbox 360 created a mysterious alternate universe inspired by the video game franchise which has sold a staggering 46 million copies worldwide since launch in 2001.
Super fans and worldwide media from 16 different countries were catapulted into this off-world environment to take part in a theatrical experience which saw them travel to a top secret location before being unexpectedly thrust into a war zone which recreated brutal battle grounds through pyrotechnic explosions, thunderous sound effects and cinematic set builds.
““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” is the start of a new saga in the “Halo” story which is set to cause a sensation when it hits stores on Tuesday 6th November 2012. Acclaimed film director David Fincher, the creative visionary behind Hollywood thrillers such as "Fight Club" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", produced an action-packed launch trailer for the game and American talk show host Conan O’Brien and actor Andy Richter are voicing two of the game’s characters. The “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack was composed by award-winning producer and composer Neil Davidge, long-term co-writer and collaborator for music production outfit Massive Attack.
Xbox 360 worked with the government-owned Liechtenstein Marketing, which promotes Liechtenstein as a tourism destination and a place to do business, to transform the country. 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
Developed by 343 Industries exclusively for Xbox 360, “Halo 4” ushers in the return of mankind’s greatest hero, the Master Chief, in a newly envisioned sci-fi adventure. Set nearly five years after the events of “Halo 3,” “Halo 4” follows the Master Chief as he ventures into a mysterious new world and discovers an overpowering ancient evil that threatens to annihilate mankind.
Launching worldwide exclusively for Xbox 360 on 6 November 2012, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster instalment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. Developed by 343 Industries, “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a ground-breaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.
The standard edition of “Halo 4” will be available for £49.99 (RRP), and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, will be available for £69.99 (RRP). Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for £269.99 (RRP) and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for £39.99 (RRP). Please visit http://www.xbox.com/Halo-4 for more details.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Web Quality A-Roll: https://edelman.box.com/s/40gbydwr0vb6m27aorcl
For additional “Halo 4” assets please visit: http://microsoft.gamespress.com/xbox360/product.asp?s=530
“Halo”: Fast Facts
· The Halo franchise has generated nearly $3 billion in sales
· More than 46 million units of Halo games have been sold worldwide
· “Halo: Reach” generated more than $200 million in sales in the United States and Europe in the first 24 hours of its release, eclipsing all previous 2010 U.S. entertainment launches, including the three-day opening weekends of Hollywood blockbusters Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland and Toy Story 3
· First-day sales of “Halo 3” reached $170 million in the U.S., breaking all previous single day entertainment launch record, and breaking the previous record held by Halo 2 ($125 million)
· Since the launch of Halo 3, players have generated more than 120 million pieces of user-generated content from within the game
· More than 5 billion hours of Halo gameplay has been logged by players while connected to Xbox LIVE
Liechtenstein: Fast Facts
· Full name: Principality of Liechtenstein
· Population: 36,000
· Capital: Vaduz
· Area: 160 sq km (61.8 sq miles), located between Switzerland and Austria
· Profile: Liechtenstein is one of the most highly developed industrial countries worldwide. Combined with its unique landscape it offers a wonderful place to live and work
· Major language: German
· Monetary unit: 1 Swiss franc = 100 centimes
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