REDMOND, Wash. â€” April 10, 2007 â€” Microsoft Game Studios and Bungie Studios today confirmed the multiplayer beta of â€œHaloÂ® 3â€ will debut to audiences worldwide via Xbox LIVEÂ® on May 16 at 5 a.m. PDT and run through June 6 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. Coming exclusively to the Xbox 360â„¢ console this fall, â€œHalo 3â€ is the highly anticipated third chapter in the groundbreaking â€œHaloâ€ trilogy from legendary developers Bungie. â€œHalo 3â€ lets gamers experience Master Chiefâ€™s greatest battle as he launches an epic mission to stop the Covenant, destroy the impending Flood threat and ultimately save mankind.
Made possible through Microsoft Corp.â€™s Xbox LIVE gaming and entertainment network, which provides a robust online service for more than 6 million gamers worldwide, the multiplayer beta for â€œHalo 3â€ will give anxious Xbox 360 gamers their first opportunity to get their hands on the new levels, weapons, vehicles and game types, as well as a chance to provide valuable data that Bungie will use in continued development. Starting May 16, gamers who secured their admission to the multiplayer beta either through the â€œRule of Threeâ€ promotion or by purchasing a specially marked copy of â€œCrackdownâ„¢â€ for Xbox 360 will be able to don their Spartan armor, download the beta on Xbox LIVE, and jump online using their Xbox LIVE Gold account* to battle other gamers from around the world.
When gamers gather online to play the multiplayer beta via Xbox LIVE in May, they will be treated to three richly detailed, action-oriented maps: Snowbound, High Ground and Valhalla, which represent a mixture of large- and medium-scale combat environments and are brand-new to â€œHalo 3.â€ Each map will test gamersâ€™ mettle as they are placed behind the controls of new â€œHalo 3â€ vehicles such as the agile Mongoose all-terrain vehicle, and armed with deadly weapons such as the new and improved Assault Rifle, the ferocious Brute Spiker, the devastating Spartan Laser and the treacherous new Spike Grenades. This is just a taste of what gamers will experience later this fall when â€œHalo 3â€ goes on sale.
â€œâ€˜Halo: Combat Evolvedâ€™ and â€˜Halo 2â€™ changed the face of console gaming forever,â€ said Shane Kim, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios. â€œGamers from around the world have logged more than 800 million hours on Xbox LIVE playing â€˜Halo 2,â€™ and years after its launch it remains the No. 1 title on our Xbox LIVE network. Bringing an early look at the multiplayer elements of â€˜Halo 3â€™ to our passionate fan base is tremendously exciting for us.â€
Gamers worldwide who did not participate in the â€œRule of Threeâ€ promotion but are interested in joining the multiplayer beta of â€œHalo 3â€ can still participate through the purchase of the critically acclaimed Xbox 360 title â€œCrackdown,â€ which was launched in February. â€œCrackdownâ€ sets players loose in a free-form, persistent city for action-packed crime fighting that requires a bigger, faster and stronger hero that evolves as a more efficient weapon through continued gameplay. Each copy of â€œCrackdownâ€ has been specially marked with a â€œHalo 3â€ beta sticker prior to the beta period, and starting May 16 the game will act as a key for gamers to download and participate in the â€œHalo 3â€ multiplayer beta.
In addition, gamers who canâ€™t wait for the multiplayer beta this May can get an even earlier look at â€œHalo 3â€ with a new, behind-the-scenes video feature available at http://www.bungie.net and in high definition over Xbox LIVE Marketplace. Starting today, viewers can go behind the scenes at Bungie Studios to learn about the people, technology and process that are making â€œHalo 3â€ an unforgettable multiplayer experience, and to get a taste of what to expect from the upcoming â€œHalo 3â€ multiplayer beta. The latest multiplayer video documentary, titled â€œIs Quisnam Protero Damno!,â€ will offer a glimpse at how â€œHalo 3â€ multiplayer maps are being designed, built and architected, and how these amazing spaces are converted into fun places in which to play. Gamers can also catch the first-ever glimpse of brand-new â€œHalo 3â€ multiplayer levels in their early stages of evolution and construction.
About Bungie Studios
Bungie Studios was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve its real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it has produced games such as the â€œMarathon Trilogyâ€ and the first two â€œMythâ€ games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. Bungieâ€™s â€œHaloâ€ franchise is an international award-winning action title that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon, selling more than 14.7 million units worldwide, logging over 800 million hours of multiplayer action on Xbox LIVE and spawning action figures, books, a graphic novel, apparel and more. Bungie is currently at work on â€œHalo 3,â€ which represents the third chapter in this â€œHaloâ€ trilogy and is slated for release in 2007. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net.