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Friday, October 9, 2009

Halo 3 Free Trial

Posted by patrick

By Nathan Jones

The release of Halo 3 was wildly awaited, as the game was the third in the original trilogy of the Halo series. As a result, the Halo 3 free download was one of the most downloaded video game demos in the history of the Xbox 360. What many people don't remember is that the Halo 3 trial download helped make another game - Crackdown.

What does the Halo 3 trial download have to do with another video game? Well, it has a lot to do with the distribution and marketing effort for a game that was originally planned for release on the Xbox system. Microsoft had become concerned that Crackdown would not sell a lot.

So they used a marketing gimmick, the one of bundling Crackdown with an access code to the Halo 3 trial download. And it worked in that Crackdown sold 1.5 million copies within the first six months of its release. Those aren't Halo 3 numbers, which sold 8.1 million copies in slightly over a year, but for a lesser well-known game that's terrific.

Microsoft had turned to the Halo 3 trial download tactic because of adverse opinions about the game from the play testers. They found the unusual nature of the game confusing, often leaving them wondering what they were supposed to be doing next.

As a result of this, the powers that be thought that something had to be done or the game would be a dud. It may seem dodgy practice at first to try to push sales of a game that's expected to be unpopular, but in hindsight people like the game and it was a good thing that they were able to get the chance to play it.

In Crackdown, and that includes the one bundled with the Halo 3 free download, people play the role of an agent who is detailed to defeat the kingpins or leaders of various gangs. To do this they utilize various superhuman powers such as super strength and super agility. In order to gain these powers, players have to build up experience by defeating enemies who then release experience orbs. The interesting part of the system was that the kind of orbs released depended on the manner in which the agent killed the enemy. For instance, a firearms orb appears if the enemy was wiped out with a gun.

So, although at first sight this video bundled with the Halo 3 trail download appears to be no more than a veiled marketing gimmick, in reality, it exposed gamers to a fascinating new gameplay world.

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