How Microsoft and 343 Industries are Using YouTube to Their Advantage

I’m sure most or all of Halo fans out there have heard about the live-action web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. The dedicated YouTube community must have heard about this series as well, since it is hard to miss or pass up on YouTube itself. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn follows the story of young UNSC cadets from Hastati Squad and ultimately sets the scene for the upcoming release of Halo 4. The live-action web series is distributed by the MachinimaPrime channel on YouTube. I’ve gotta say, this series is one of the most impressive promotions for an upcoming game I have ever seen. Credit must be given right away to 343 Industries and Microsoft for coming up with this ambitious idea and delivering directly to fans. It’s every Halo fan’s (and even gamer’s) dream seeing Halo brought to a “bigger screen” and having the science-fiction epic story being told in a new light.

YouTube is a great way to really getting a message out there to anyone who listens and follows certain topics such as gamers. Many publishers and developers use YouTube already to post video game cinematics or in-game videos to generate excitement within the gaming community to promote games. YouTube is also one of the top sites among social networking outlets and videos can go viral very fast due to constant updating from companies and users. 343 Industries is very smart to use YouTube in this light because it is very easy to share videos and it’s one of the top ways to create a buzz about something new. Advertisements before videos on YouTube do the same thing. A commercial plays to try to get someone interested in a product, service, or promotion and to eventually seek more information afterwards.

Two episodes of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn have been released and fans already from all over the world are raving about the series. Halo fans are particularly interested in seeing how the story unfolds before Halo 4 begins and also what exactly happened to Master Chief aboard the Forward Unto Dawn ship. Releasing episodes on YouTube each week is a great idea to get fans geared for the release of Halo 4 and in doing so, will probably generate record breaking sales for the Halo franchise. New episodes of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn are released every Friday until the release of Halo 4. Below is the link to MachinimaPrime’s YouTube channel where you can watch Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn episodes:

http://www.youtube.com/MachinimaPrime

-John

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