REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Halo fans around the world will join together on Oct. 26 to celebrate the global launch of "Halo 5: Guardians," one of the most anticipated games of 2015. Streaming exclusively on YouTube, "Halo 5: Live," a six-hour live broadcast, will kick off at 6 p.m. EDT on Oct. 26 and culminate at midnight when "Halo 5: Guardians" goes on sale in North America. The broadcast will feature exclusive gameplay reveals, celebrity appearances, live interviews with the 343 Industries development team and much more.
"Halo 5: Guardians" is the most ambitious addition to the $4.6 billion sci-fi franchise to date, bringing together a gripping story, deep character narrative and teamwork-based gameplay. As a mysterious and unstoppable force threatens the universe, the Master Chief has gone AWOL and the UNSC's elite man hunter, Spartan Locke, is tasked with hunting him down. As the pursuit unfolds, players can band together in a four-player cooperative epic that spans three worlds, or challenge friends and rivals in new multiplayer modes.1
"'Halo 5: Guardians' is the game we have always dreamed of making, and it was important to us that Halo fans in every corner of the world could join us in an epic-scale launch celebration," said Bonnie Ross, corporate vice president and head of 343 Industries. "Whether they tune into the live broadcast on YouTube or come out and celebrate with us in person at one of our global fan events, we hope Halo Nation will help make 'Halo 5: Guardians' the biggest game launch in Xbox history."
Streaming a global celebration
The "Halo 5: Live" broadcast will connect millions of fans around the world, allowing viewers to watch, comment and virtually participate in multiple launch celebrations held in key international cities. Microsoft is reinventing the traditional video game launch, inviting fans to join in the celebration, no matter where they are located. Festivities currently planned include the following:
- The world premiere of "Halo: The Fall of Reach" episode one, the new animated series that tells the dramatic tale of the origin and intrigue behind the SPARTAN program that propelled characters like the Master Chief and Dr. Catherine Halsey into the pantheon of Halo lore.2
- The first Xbox roundtable featuring the writers behind "Halo 5: Guardians" and Nathan Fillion, the voice of Spartan Buck.
- Special documentaries will get up close and personal with Halo superfans around the world, showcasing what makes Halo Nation unlike any other community in gaming.
- A lucky fan in Australia will play "Halo 5: Guardians" from a helicopter flying over Sydney, as gameplay is broadcasted via a screen suspended from a second helicopter.
- In London, iconic entertainment venue The Roundhouse will transform into a "Halo 5: Guardians" celebration, with a friendly tournament between four teams of YouTube creators and fans. U.K. fans can win a chance to attend the London event by visiting http://bit.ly/1REsmt6.
- In celebration of a Halo superfan from Japan who has played over 10,000 hours of Halo, Master Chief and Agent Locke action figurines will travel to the edge of space for the most epic Gamertag selfie.
- A Taiwanese cosplayer will bring his passion for the Master Chief to life when he collaborates with one of the hottest jewelry designers in Australia to recreate the Master Chief's helmet with more than 30,000 Swarovski crystals. The one-of-a-kind helmet will be unveiled during the show and kick-start a chance for gamers around the world to bid on it for charity.
- In New Zealand, Halo fans will converge at the close of the Armageddon Expo for multiplayer sessions, cosplay displays and more.
- In Hong Kong, a real-life course inspired by the new "Halo 5: Guardians" competitive Arena multiplayer mode, "Breakout," will be constructed, putting Halo fans into real 4v4 combat. In New York City, a special fan destination will take place at the brand new flagship store Microsoft at Fifth Ave. and 53rd St., located in the heart of Manhattan and culminating in the midnight launch of "Halo 5: Guardians."
"Millions of our fans around the world are waiting in anticipation of the launch of 'Halo 5: Guardians,' so we wanted to do something special for them and launch a video game in a way that has never been done before," said Aaron Greenberg, head of games marketing for Xbox. "We are excited to stream the 'Halo 5: Guardians' launch exclusively through YouTube so fans can share in a New Year's Eve-like countdown moment together."
Special fan events will take place at all Microsoft stores. All stores will be streaming the "Halo 5: Live" broadcast and are offering an exclusive Halo poster with a $25 purchase, early gameplay and more for the midnight launch of "Halo 5: Guardians." Fans can also enter a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to Seattle for a tour of the Xbox and 343 studios. More information can be found on the Microsoft store Facebook page.
The full "Halo 5: Live" launch day programming lineup will be announced soon. Additional "Halo 5: Live" details can be found at https://www.xbox.com/Halo5Live.
About the Halo franchise
Exclusively published by Microsoft Studios and developed by 343 Industries, the Halo franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has transcended video games and grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original "Halo: Combat Evolved" (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has reinvented how people think about video games and has since built a fan base of millions worldwide and inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, a live-action digital series, comic books, action figures, apparel and more.
Xbox is Microsoft's premier entertainment brand for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. In living rooms or on the go, Xbox is home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world's largest libraries of movies, TV, music and sports. Your favorite games, TV and entertainment come to life in new ways through the power of Kinect, Xbox SmartGlass and Xbox Live, the world's premier social entertainment network. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.
Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT" @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
1 Online multiplayer requires Xbox Live Gold subscription (sold separately).
2 "Halo: The Fall of Reach" animated series is streaming only via Halo Channel and requires broadband Internet; ISP fees apply.
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