Posted October 31, 2012 by Peter in News

Halo 4 takes over Liechtenstein

Halo 4 takes over Liechtenstein
Halo 4 takes over Liechtenstein

We’re all aware that regardless of how good or bad the game turns out to be, Halo 4 is going to be big. If you’re an Xbox gamer it is definitely too big to be ignored. However, just to be sure of emphasising that size, as part of its promotional events Microsoft recently took over an entire country – the Principality of Liechtenstein.

In a release describing it in the slightly surreal terms of being “the only brand to ever transform the Principality of Liechtenstein”, the work involved in making castles, farms and mines into a live-action set for the game exceeds that of events for most Hollywood blockbuster releases. Pyrotechnics were used to create a war-zone, actors led guests around in a tour-cum-puzzle game, and this was all before anyone could come to the focus of the event and play the game itself.

The is no escaping how games are becoming an ever larger business – the Hollywood comparison is perhaps both too easy and outdated, given how the games industry now earns more. Development costs between games and movies are also becoming ever more similar, with Halo 3 being estimated to have cost around $60million to develop and the new title exceeding that – Microsoft’s Phil Spencer said in a recent interview that Halo 4 was the most expensive title the company had produced. Of Halo 3‘s budget, an estimated $30million went on promotion, and with events like this it seems Halo 4 will exceed it on that score too.

Of course, with the new title planned as the first part of a new trilogy, it already poses questions of how the following releases will be able to top such large scale promotion as this, beyond performing a coup de tat and claiming a nation somewhere for keeps.

Halo 4 is released on November 6th; Liechtenstein’s national day is August 15th.


Peter can be described as an old, hairy gamer, a survivor of the console wars of the 1990s, and a part-time MMO addict. He has an especial fondness for retro gaming and observing the progressions in long running gaming series. When scandalously not caught gaming, he can also be found reading comics and fantasy fiction, or practising terrible photography.