Liechtenstein Transforms into a Halo 4 Level

Posted by // November 5th, 2012 // Product Design No Comments »

In what is possibly the biggest publicity stunt ever for a video game, Microsoft have enlisted the help of a whole country to promote the soon to be released Halo 4.

Master Chief stands guard at the Liechtenstein border during the HALO 4 launch by Xbox 360

The Xbox team has transformed the Principality of Liechtenstein by taking over some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, including a thirteenth century castle and a working mine, to create a real-life replica of the Halo universe within the heart of Europe.

General view of Blazers Castle during the HALO 4 launch by Xbox 360

The mountainous landscapes of the normally tranquil Liechtenstein countryside became a stage for an epic sci-fi saga as fans and worldwide media from sixteen different countries were treated to a mysterious alternate universe inspired by the video game franchise which has sold a staggering forty-six million copies worldwide since launching in 2001.

Army Convoy taking part in the Halo 4 launch event

Working with government-owned Liechtenstein Marketing, which promotes Liechtenstein as a tourism destination and a place to do business, the unique makeover included:

  • Re-imagining a thirteenth century castle – standing on a seventy 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 – fifteen 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

Master Chief emerges from a mine shaft during the HALO 4 launch event

Microsoft have stated that Halo 4 is their most expensive game yet, eclipsing the $6.5 million they dedicated to Halo 3 and this event highlights the marketing muscle companies are providing for the big money business that video games now provide.

““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 fifty-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 launches on November 6th.

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