Microsoft is throwing its financial weight behind Halo 4 as its big fall release, including a marketing strategy that involves a live-action web series. The series will be called Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, and will play out as five weekly installments, each around 15 minutes long. These will lead to the game's November 6 launch.
Variety reports that the story will focus on a young UNSC cadet, inspired by Master Chief, who eventually becomes a leader on the UNSC Infinity. The new character is said to tie into the plot of Halo 4 as well. The series will be viewable through the Halo Waypoint portal and Machinima, but the report hints at other platforms after the web debut. We would guess that means a Blu-Ray/DVD release akin to Halo Legends.
This will be Microsoft's largest investment to date in a live-action project, ever since plans for a Hollywood live-action movie fell apart. It's keeping most of the details under wraps for now, including the cast and director. The report states that it plans to reveal more specifics during the San Diego Comic-Con in July.
"Every time we do a live-action commercial the audience says, 'We want to see more so that we can explore the 'Halo' universe a little bit more,'" said Frank O'Connor, franchise development director at 343 Industries. "Demand grew more and more out of the two little vignettes we'd previously produced." But, he notes that delving into the series lore is "a big commitment." The company wanted to make sure people could enjoy the series without being neck-deep in its mythology, so new viewers wouldn't feel intimidated.