Recounting Friday's Halo 3 Launch Team Appreciation Party

On Friday, I had an opportunity to attend the Halo 3 Launch Appreciation Team party at an undisclosed location in the Redmond area.  This was the core marketing and  product management team responsible for releasing the product and it was a fun time.  Jerett, the Group manager for H3 had managed to secure eight final copies of the game for us to play and I took third in one of the rounds as a veritable noob on the final product.  All I can say is that the game still has surprises in it and the feel is so refined, so much more authentic when compared to Halo 2.  This was a good reminder that sometimes the most important meetings you have are outside the office.

By now a whole lot of you have seen the Halo 3 HD videos via Silverlight.  A question I sometimes get is why all the properties aren’t done in Silverlight?  Answer is simple: we just shipped and a veritable army of vendors, creative agencies, and content providers A) are responsible for efforts such as the Halo launch and B) are being trained up on Silverlight as we speak, starting with top agencies of record.  Most of these campaigns were underway long before Silverlight was ready to ship.  Rest assured though, we’ll have some more Silverlight goodies for fellow Halo 3 fans shortly. 😉

Speaking of goodies, one of my favorites is the new Halo 3 "Believe" experience.  This interactive diorama museum from the future was moving and has led to some very well produced fan commercials.  I’m pretty sure one of the prizes given away at the party was a soldier from the diorama (with a broken thumb) but it’s significance was lost on me until I saw the site.

I’ve now had the pleasure to be involved in all three Halo launches – helping to produce the WMP skin and promotional DVD’s for H1, the unveil of the H2 video in HD and 5.1 audio for the WM 9 Series Launch, and now HD and interactive efforts around Silverlight.  In my estimation, the journey has been the biggest reward.  I’m looking forward to launch day – Sept 25th.