Halo 4 to receive big live-action web series promotion

Microsoft's biggest investment ever in live action is "not just a marketing piece"

Halo 4, launching on November 6, will be one of the hottest games this fall/holiday, and Microsoft wants to ensure that the Halo brand is getting huge mindshare - in the weeks prior to release a new live action web series will promote the title. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, which will play exclusively on Machinima and online community Halo Waypoint, represents "the largest investment" Microsoft has ever made in live action.

Matt McCloskey, director of franchise business management at 343 Industries, told Variety that the live action series, to be played out in five weekly 15-minute installments, is "not just a marketing piece" to promote the game. "We wanted to go way beyond that and transform this live-action exploration from advertising into a full standalone product that people will enjoy," he said.

"Every time we do a live-action commercial the audience says, 'We want to see more so that we can explore the 'Halo' universe a little bit more," added Frank O'Connor, franchise development director at 343 Industries. "Demand grew more and more out of the two little vignettes we'd previously produced."

Microsoft is attempting to broaden the appeal of Halo so that it can bring in an even larger audience. As such, the web series will encompass "an origins story that teaches you about a lot of different facets of the ('Halo') universe." O'Connor commented, "We needed a way to ensure there was a way for people to get onboard this universe without feeling intimidated."

Some believe that the live action series could be a pre-cursor to a full-length movie and that the troubled Halo movie might one day find itself on the big screen after all.

"I don't think anybody needs any reminding of (the potential)," McCloskey said of the Halo brand and the live action extensions. "Everyone keeps reminding us of that."

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Latest comments (6)

Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ5 years ago
Never saw the appeal of Halo.

But family friends say their 3 and 5 year old kids LOVE it, and know ALL the world's lore and everything.

So, I guess that's an achievement. And, maybe I just have no taste whatsoever. :)

Anyway, hope the web series is engaging! Interesting move by Microsoft.

- Murray
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Robert Barrow Information Security Analyst 5 years ago
Loved the original Halo (the only reason I got an Xbox).
Slightly disappointed by Halo 2 - the multi player rocked but the campaign was weak.
Had high hopes for Halo 3 but it just completely failed to deliver (the only reason I bought a 360)
Skipped all the off shoots.
Got Halo Reach and really enjoyed it, but it didn't feel like a Halo game - Killzone was better.
Halo 4 not by Bungie... I'm hoping 343 really pull out the stops and provide an original Halo feel, with Reach gameplay, and gfx to support it!!
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Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer 5 years ago

Agree totally. Halo one captured the spirit of a hero called Master Chief. Gruff, fearless and totally willing to sacrifice himself to save everyone (while never actually giving up).

Then Halo 2 introduces some covenant creature to play as?!??

Then Halo 3 introduces some strange Halo ring factory?!?!?!?

Boy did they loose their way with that franchise.
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Show all comments (6)
kyfhgjf Founder/ Creative Director, GloLiquid5 years ago
Live action?
Imagine the consumer as a dartboard.
They have well and truly missed the target.
It's great to see them thinking about how to attract and nurture the consumer's interest.
But, I personally find live action promotion a senseless rape of video game culture.
It's so misguided and false.
The last time I checked, Halo isn't an augmented reality franchise.
If Halo Reach had looked or played like the game that was depicted in the live action trailer I would have bought it, rather than lending it off a friend and having to say sorry to myself for playing it.
How can video games become a separate entity when they are constantly diluted by the reliance of live-action promotion?
Video games are so much more than a trite live-action production.
This is one of the reasons why companies such as Argos store video games in the toys section.
Games are still trying to find their feet as a unique artistic expression.
Things are soon to change and as NOFX said Dinosaurs Will Die.

Also, I wanna send a eHi-5 to Robert, such a great point.
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Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios5 years ago

But seriously, I'm absolutely thrilled about this. Ever since the first rumors spread about a Halo movie a long time ago, I've been waiting eagerly along with many of my friends (along with the countless Halo fans that have wanted a movie from day one).

I think a live action promotion is a great idea to be honest. Look at what they did with the Assassin's Creed live action promo they did a while back, that was fantastic! That tv show the Borgia might as well have been a giant Assassin's Creed trailer lol.

Let's look at some other live action promotions, like Modern Warfare 3. The Vet and the n00b concept was funny and something everybody could relate to.

How about live action movies. Max Payne was a great adaptation of a videogame to a movie. What about Resident Evil? Silent Hill? Hitman? There are other that I havent named only because I don't remember off the top of my limitedly caffinated brain.

The only Halo game so far I haven't played was ODST, and I've been satisified with each one so far. The story has slowly developed into a more and more grand scale... As if the ancient race of creatures that assimilate every living creature, giant galaxy killing ring of death, and alien race that worships rings of death, wasnt enough of an epic plot... Where to go from there?
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 5 years ago
i never played halo. As a game i dont think its anything special. however, I do read up alot on its story, lore and characters. it is very very interesting. I like it alot and understand why it has so many fans. I totally support any form of live action film as long as its well done and respects the story. However Halo 4 is really tempting me to give Halo a shot in gaming.
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