The latest iteration in the wildly successful Halo franchise launched early this week to critical acclaim, and early numbers indicate ‘more people played Halo 4 in the first 24 hours than any other Halo launch day in history.’ To put this statement in context, over 1 million people played Halo 3 on its launch day, toppling every previously set industry record. First day sales of Halo 3 also broke the standard for an entertainment release, generating $170M in its first 24 hours, making it bigger than numbers for even the biggest blockbuster movie.
With early numbers indicating the stats are even more impressive for the launch of Halo 4, it’s safe to say the franchise is redefining how we classify media properties. PSFK got a peek at the campaign launch video for the game, and spoke to a Microsoft spokesperson about how the game continues to push boundaries:
To promote the launch of Halo 4, you created a real-life game that took over the city of Lichtenstein and floated a giant Glyph symbol down the Thames in London. These large events, and other promotional efforts, were undeniably huge. Why such a big push given the previous success of the franchise?
“Halo” is Microsoft’s flagship franchise and has repeatedly set sales records over its decade-long history. Previous campaigns have set the gold standard for creative marketing and social innovation and Microsoft continues to raise the bar by launching “Halo 4” as a landmark entertainment event on par with a major Hollywood movie.
The big launch events noted above integrated the digital and physical worlds, and in the game, the digital and physical worlds become even more blurred. For example, players can access additional game content by syncing their American Express cards with XBox360, the soundtrack for the game debuted #50 on Billboard’s 200 Chart, and Conan O’Brien even makes a cameo in the game. With the game reaching across so many different platforms, how do you see Halo 4 fitting into the larger media landscape? Can we call it just a ‘game’ anymore?
The franchise has transcended the traditional confines of gaming and become a global pop culture phenomenon. “Halo 4”signals a new beginning for the history-making franchise and continues to set a new benchmark for blockbuster entertainment launches.
- “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” – groundbreaking live-action digital series that sets the stage for “Halo 4”
- “Experience: Halo” event – Microsoft transformed the Principality of Liechtenstein into a replica of the “Halo 4” planet Requiem for an experiential media and fan event.
- Hollywood-caliber live-action trailers produced by acclaimed director David Fincher
- Official soundtrack – OST by award-winning producer Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame
- Marquee brand partnerships – the biggest marketing partnership campaign for a “Halo” game to date, including A-list brands like Doritos, Mountain Dew, Axe, 7-Eleven and American Express.
- Global midnight madness events – launch events in more than 7,000 retail stores in the U.S. and thousands more worldwide.
Watch a behind-the-scenes look of the making of the campaign for the Halo 4 launch below:
Video Credits: JCPR created and managed Experience: Halo, alongside creating content and managing amplification for the Glyph working with AKQA and Microsoft.