Last night Londoners had a close encounter with intergalactic forces as a mysterious glowing red UFO floated above Tower Bridge. Watchful citizens gathered by the banks of the Thames, staying close to the giant armour clad figure with the comforting ray gun. But there was no need to fear the little green men; the masterminds behind this alien invasion were, infact, the team from creative agency AKQA.
AKQA has been working with Xbox to prepare for one of the most highly anticipated game launches of 2012 – ‘Halo 4’. On the eve of the launch, AKQA treated Londoners to a ground-breaking aerial lighting performance visible for miles over the city. The “Halo 4” Glyph symbol is one of the largest and brightest man-made structures to ever fly over a capital city and measures 50 feet in diameter and weighs over three tons.
The giant LED symbol was carried from Canary Wharf to Tower Bridge by helicopter, and super fans enjoying the performance were also treated with the opportunity to meet the game’s hero Master Chief.
“‘Halo’ launches are renowned for being entertainment game-changers and we are back with our most ambitious projects to date,” said Chris Lewis, Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft EMEA. “Last week we created a replica of the ‘Halo’ universe within the heart of Europe. This week we have one of the worlds’ largest and brightest performance art objects being flown over London.”
“The Glyph flyover makes the seemingly impossible world of science fiction a reality, a 50 foot symbol of the Didact hovering in the skies of a major capital city, seems a fitting way to herald the next chapter of this phenomenal blockbuster franchise.”
To match the excitement surrounding the new game, AKQA’s launch stunt was highly ambitious. Measuring 50 feet in diameter, the Glyph structure weighed 3.2 tonnes. Over 50 designers, engineers and fabircators were involved in its manufacture and it took eight weeks to design and build – with two weeks dedicated to applying the 113,096 LEDs.
“Halo 4” is the start of a new saga in the “Halo” story which is set to cause a sensation when it hits stores today on Tuesday 6th November 2012. Acclaimed film director David Fincher, the creative visionary behind Hollywood thrillers such as "Fight Club" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", produced an action-packed launch trailer for the game and American talk show host Conan O’Brien and actor Andy Richter are voicing two of the game’s characters. The “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack was composed by award-winning producer and composer Neil Davidge, long-term co-writer and collaborator for music production outfit Massive Attack.