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Xbox 360 changes the game by taking over Liechtenstein

New Zealand Newsbeat

XBOX 360 TRANSFORMS A COUNTRY TO LAUNCH EPIC BLOCKBUSTER “HALO 4”
Xbox 360 changes the game by taking over Liechtenstein in 2012’s biggest entertainment launch

In a ground-breaking world first, entertainment giant 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 13th 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” 1.

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 mold 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.

Transforming Liechtenstein
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 13th 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.

Press Notes
“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

####


New Zealand Newsbeat – Announcements to date
“Halo 4” Spartan Ops Launch Trailer Debuts on Halo Waypoint
Famed Hollywood Visionaries David Fincher and Tim Miller Team Up with Microsoft to Create “Halo 4” Launch Trailer
“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Live-Action Series Premieres Worldwide
“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack and Special Edition Remix Album Coming Oct.19
Expand Your “Halo Infinity Multiplayer” Experience with Specializations in “Halo 4”
Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle and Accessories Revealed at San Diego Comic-Con
“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Trailer Premieres at Comic-Con
“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Teaser Trailer Premieres on Machinima and Halo Waypoint
“Halo 4” Redefines Iconic Franchise with “Halo Infinity Multiplayer” Experience
Master Chief Returns with Worldwide Launch of “Halo 4” Beginning Nov. 6
Renowned Massive Attack Producer Neil Davidge to Collaborate with Microsoft on Ground-breaking ‘Halo 4’ Score
Information available here

About 343 Industries
343 Industries is the publisher and developer of the blockbuster “Halo” series of videogames and, as part of Microsoft Studios, oversees the “Halo” franchise, including novels, comics, licensed collectibles, apparel and more. 343 Industries is home to world-class developers working on the “Halo” “Reclaimer Saga,” which commences with the arrival of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6, 2012, exclusively on Xbox 360.

About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. Thanks to the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as one of the world’s largest on-demand libraries of music, standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with a leading social entertainment network of 40 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com/en-NZ.

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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