A GLOBAL MYSTERY
Pre-orders jumped 125% | Most pre-sales in Halo history
2016 Gold Addy Award
2016 Silver Addy Award
2016 Gold District Addy Award
2016 Judges District Addy Award
2016 Silver MIXX Award
2016 Gold International DMA Echo Award
How do you sell the fifth game in a series while still growing the audience? Gamers love to game together. So you give them a reason to. You make a game about the game.
First we got something they couldn't find anywhere else. The official key art packed to the brim with all sorts of story and game play details. Next we strategically sliced it up into 117 pieces, paying special attention to what each piece would mean to the gamer that looked at it.
Then 6 months before Halo 5:Guardians was going to ship we sent out a mysterious communication. A star field containing 3 blinking stars and a simple message:
THE HUNT CONTINUES
April 25-28th Worldwide
Clicking on each one of the blinking stars would give you one puzzle piece. This was just to get their attention. And it worked!
Immediately gamers started talking about the email. Many messed with the contrast looking to see if there was anything extra hidden in the image. Some thought the blinking of the stars was morse code. The frenzy had begun.
Over the next few days we fed the search. We placed pieces all over Xbox owned social and PR channels. We shared pieces with influencers like Major Nelson and game media sites like GameInformer and IGN. No one channel or country had all the pieces, so gamers had to work together.
The response was amazing! NeoGAF, Reddit, and Halo WayPoint all lit up as gamers gathered to solve the puzzle. By the time the the key art was complete, we knew our strategy had worked. The buzz had been built through the passion of the community.
Halo 5:Guardians launched on October 27th, 2015 with the biggest first week sales in history of the franchise.