In a year when Hollywood is launching its biggest blockbusters ever, a video game is set to conquer them all. “Halo® 3,” the final chapter in the groundbreaking “Halo” trilogy, is set to shatter day-one entertainment sales records when it is released worldwide beginning Tuesday, Sept. 25. Created by legendary developer Bungie Studios and exclusive to the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system, “Halo 3” will set a new standard for interactive storytelling and social gaming by engaging consumers worldwide in Master Chief’s epic battle to save humankind. “Halo 3” will be available to audiences around the world starting Sept. 25 and will release in Europe on Sept. 26.
“‘Halo 3’ is much more than a video game release; it’s the biggest entertainment event of the year,” said Peter Moore, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business. “On Sept. 25, we intend to deliver a finale that will go down in entertainment history and leave people around the world with an experience that will be shared and enjoyed for years to come.”
Fueling the early buzz around “Halo 3”, Microsoft unveiled the multiplayer beta on the eve of its release at a star-studded event in Hollywood. Beginning tomorrow, May 16, Microsoft Game Studios will kick off the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta, which provides audiences worldwide with an exclusive, early look at some of the multiplayer elements of “Halo 3” on Xbox LIVE®. Adding to the excitement, Microsoft is also announcing a special edition Zune™ digital media player inspired by the hugely successful “Halo” franchise. On shelves next month, the Zune-Halo 3 edition comes loaded with a collection of “Halo” content, including videos, soundtracks, trailers, ads and artwork.
In November 2004, the world’s view of video games changed forever with the release of “Halo 2,” which generated a record-setting $125 million in sales within the first 24 hours and changed the way people think about interactive entertainment. Three years later, it remains the most-played game on Microsoft’s Xbox LIVE online gaming and entertainment network, with nearly 1 billion hours of online gaming logged to date.
The unveiling of the “Halo 3” launch date comes on the eve of the release of the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta, which will debut to audiences worldwide via Xbox LIVE on May 16 at 5 a.m. PDT and run through June 6 at 11:59 p.m. PDT.* The “Halo 3” multiplayer beta will provide audiences worldwide with an exclusive early look at some of the multiplayer elements of “Halo 3” on Xbox LIVE. Gamers who are interested in experiencing the multiplayer beta of “Halo 3” can still participate through the purchase of the critically acclaimed, Xbox 360-exclusive title “Crackdown™,” which was launched in February. Starting May 16, the specially marked copies of “Crackdown” will act as a key for gamers to participate in the “Halo 3” multiplayer beta. In addition to giving gamers their first opportunity to get their hands on the new levels, weapons, vehicles and game types, the multiplayer beta will also provide valuable data that Bungie will use in continued development.
The “Halo” franchise has expanded beyond video games into The New York Times’ best-selling books, graphic novels, collectible merchandise and now a new, special edition Zune digital media player. Encased in collectible packaging, the Zune-Halo 3 edition digital media player comes pre-loaded with artwork, trailers and music from all three “Halo” games, as well as an exclusive new episode of “Red vs. Blue” from the fan-adored machinima creator Rooster Teeth Productions LLC. The Zune-Halo 3 edition (estimated retail price $249) will be available exclusively at GameStop starting June 15.
About Bungie Studios
Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the “Marathon Trilogy” and the first two “Myth” games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungie’s “Halo” franchise is an international award-winning action title that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.7 million units worldwide, logging nearly 1 billion hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE, and spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel and more. Bungie is currently at work on “Halo 3,” which represents the third chapter in this “Halo” trilogy and is slated for release in 2007. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.
About Microsoft Game Studios
Microsoft Game Studios is a leading worldwide publisher and developer of games for the Xbox® and Xbox 360 video game systems, the Windows® operating system and online platforms. Comprising a network of top developers, Microsoft Game Studios is committed to creating innovative and diverse games for Windows (http://www.microsoft.com/games), including such franchises as “Age of Empires®,” “Flight Simulator” and “Zoo Tycoon®”; Xbox and Xbox 360 (http://www.xbox.com), including such games as “Gears of War” and franchises such as “Halo,” “Fable®,” “Project Gotham Racing®” and “Forza Motorsport®”; and MSN® Games (http://www.games.msn.com), the official games channel for the MSN network and home to such hits as “Bejeweled” and “Hexic®.”