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Unedited press release follows:
Global launch events for the iconic franchise begin with an epic transformation in the Principality of Liechtenstein, with marquee launch events planned in more than 30 major cities worldwide.
REDMOND, Wash. – Nov. 1, 2012 – Brace yourselves, vampires, werewolves and clandestine super-spies. Hailed by Newsweek/The Daily Beast as potentially the “biggest entertainment launch of 2012 in any medium,”1 “Halo 4” ushers in the return of the Master Chief when it hits retail stores worldwide on Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Microsoft kicked off the “Halo 4” launch excitement in bold fashion earlier this week, transforming some of the most iconic landmarks in the Principality of Liechtenstein into a real-life replica of the “Halo” universe. Dubbed “Experience Halo,” for the night of Tuesday Oct. 30, more than 70 media and fans from 16 different countries were taken on a dramatic “Halo 4”-inspired adventure in sub-zero temperatures as part of a UNSC military crew. They saw Liechtenstein’s iconic Balzers Castle become an imposing military fort, a working mine become a war-torn battleground, and hundreds of props and pyrotechnics combined to explosively welcome Master Chief back.
Speaking at the event, Frank O’Connor, franchise development director of 343 Industries – the studio behind “Halo 4” – said that “Halo” had sold more than 46 million copies worldwide and generated more than US$3 billion in value for the franchise since inception in 2001.
“It has been almost five years since ‘Halo 3’ launched, and people have been waiting all that time for the return of the Master Chief,” O’Connor said. “‘Halo’ has literally shaped entertainment history, and it has defined a generation of gamers, and we’re looking forward to bringing everyone the next chapter in the experience.”
According to Chris Lewis, vice president of the EMEA Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, of all the launches that Xbox has done to date, the “Experience Halo” event in Liechtenstein was the most creative and all-encompassing. “To come to this location and celebrate with our most devout ‘Halo’ fans was a real privilege, and it just sets the stage for next Tuesday’s global launch,” he said.
Beyond the Liechtenstein event, marquee launch events are planned in more than 30 major cities worldwide, including Seattle, Paris, Berlin, London, Toronto, Mexico City, Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney. In total, more than 10,000 retail locations in more than 40 countries around the world will host launch events on Nov. 6.
In the United States, midnight madness events will take place at retail locations across the country, including a signature event at the University Village Microsoft Store in Seattle where fans will have the chance to meet the 343 team and get early hands-on time with the game. In Europe, more than 700 retail outlets will host midnight openings, and on the night of Nov. 5, a spectacular stunt will take place between the O2 Stadium and Tower Bridge on the Thames River in London.
In Germany, fans will get hands-on with “Halo 4” and view a screening of the complete “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” series in Hamburg, Berlin and Frankfurt. In Paris, “Halo 4” will be showcased during the Paris Games Week, the biggest gaming fair in France with more than 200,000 visitors this year. And across Australia, more than 200 EB Games stores will be open for midnight madness events, and flagship events will run in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.
Some of these events will also give fans the opportunity to be among the first to play “Halo 4” before it goes on sale at midnight Nov. 6, win coveted “Halo”-themed prizes, meet the creators of “Halo 4” from 343 Industries, and take photos with the Master Chief and the brand-new, real-life, built-to-scale “Halo 4” Warthog.
The standard edition of “Halo 4” will be available for $59.99 (U.S. ERP 3), 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 $99.99 (U.S. ERP). Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for $399.99 (U.S. ERP) and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for $59.99 (U.S. ERP).
1 Source: Newsweek/The Daily Beast: David Fincher and Conan O’Brien: Halo 4’s Secret Weapons
2 Spartan Ops also requires Xbox LIVE Gold membership and a Xbox 360 Hard Drive or 8G USB (sold separately).
3 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.