D1001 T0644 Y2007Halo 3 Launch in Seattle

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of being invited to attend a Halo 3 Launch event in Seattle. I was flown in to Sea-Tac and met up with other community people in the airport. We checked into our rooms, then migrated to a local sports bar for some football and wings. After our stomachs were full, and our bills were paid, we made our way to the local Best Buy, where in about 16 hours from then, mobs of Halo fans would grace the sidewalks and streets awaiting their copy of Halo 3. We scoped out the place, and saw the first 3 people in line. Photo op!

It was almost eerie to see the inside in such a state of calm. We all knew what was happening the next night; you could almost see the employees’ hands shaking.

We made our way back to the hotel, and were greeted by Tony and Chris from the Gamerscore Blog. We told tales of our own sites/communities as we sipped our drinks and relaxed. As things started to come to a close, Nelson Rodriguez, the newest addition to the Gamerscore Blog crew, showed up and went out to eat with a few of us to bar and grill called Joey’s. The massive burger and refills of Sprite were a nice end to that day; we found our way back to the hotel and no one had any trouble sleeping that night.

The next morning everyone met down in the lobby and were carted off to the Microsoft campus for a ‘Halo 3 Lock-In’. The anticipation was building. Everyone was eager to see what changes had been made since the Beta build, and we all wanted to sink our teeth into some Forge and Campaign.

The Front of Building B, Our Destination. If You Look Close, You Can See A Dood That Rocks.

This Was On the Secretary’s Desk. Who Needs Paperweights When You Have Spartan 117?

We were ushered into one of two rooms and greeted by LCD screens that were displaying the Halo 3 menu. We found our stations, and began chugging along in Campaign; some opting for co-op, while others going ‘lone wolf’.

As we met for lunch and relaxed, we decided to try our hands at Forge. Sandtrap was the map of choice for my room, since everyone wanted to play around with the Elephants while still have plenty of room to fly around and blow stuff up.

George (Aeropause) and I Talk to Tony About Plans For Multiplayer That Afternoon

Kiki kat (The Blue Skittle) and Myles (Grunts R Us) Dive Into Campaign Together

Everyone Has Their Eyes Locked On the TV

As we finished up our sandwiches and soup, both rooms prepared for some multiplayer glory. Each room had a theme; it was the UNSC room versus the covenant room. For eight and a half hours we played various custom games pitting each room against the other. We would play a few games, then swap some players in the rooms, then play a few more, and swap some more. By 8:30 that night everyone had played with and against everyone else there. As the multiplayer came to a close, we loaded up on swag to hand out, hopped on the bus and headed over to the big launch event at Best Buy. As we got there, we were greeted with “Bungie! We love you! OMG, its Bungie!!!” The Halo mob then realized we were not Bungie, so there was a moment of disappointment. That didn’t last for long when they realized we had a ton of free stuff to give away.

This Was Just the Start of the Line. It Stretched Around the Corner, Down the Side of the Building, and Through the Parking Lot on the Side

At one point, we got a chance to go inside early (essentially reserved for press or celebrities) to take some pictures and see what was going on. We found out the store was more than prepared for that night. Game discs were pilled up in huge stacks. Controllers and faceplates and anything else Halo were in mass number as well. Oh, and they had a couple Halo 3 Xbox 360s, just a couple…

All In All, There Are a Bunch of Bricks 360s In That Wall

Hundreds and Hundreds of Game Discs Ready To Spin in Your Tray

Also while inside, we got introduced to various sports stars. Pro athletes had been showing up hourly to play against people in line. Mariners’ and Seahawks’ players were hanging around with controllers in hand.

This Was the Gaming Station Set Up For Fans to Match Up Against Celebrities

We got introduced to retired NFL star Warren Moon and Microsoft Vice President of Global Marketing, Jeff Bell. It was all so exciting to hear the rumble from fans outside, and see the motionless stacks of games awaiting them on the inside. The store was empty essentially. It was the extreme calm before the most extreme storm that was headed our way.

As we went outside, we heard news of a surprise guest. It was still not confirmed to us, and many didn’t even know about it, so it is safe to say that everyone else in line had NO IDEA who was showing up. We waited at the front doors, cameras ready, and saw fans go pale in the face as Bill Gates came out of Best Buy and went around shaking everyone’s hands. He stuck around and signed the game for the first person in line, and really seemed like he was as thrilled about it all as everyone else.

Bill Gates and Warren Moon Standing Inside best Buy

As fans were rolling in to get their games, you could see all sorts of Bungie people roaming the crowds. They had arrived by buses to the event and were signing all sorts of Halo merchandise that people brought up to them. I got to meet and listen to Marty O’Donnell as he talked with Foo Mo Jive and JVB from Podtacular. It was amazing getting to see him first hand since I have a lot of admiration for him and the music he has done that makes the Halo series what it is.

Marty and JVB Posing In Front of Best Buy

As things began to settle down, we all made our way back to our bus, and eventually back to our hotel rooms. I think “tired” would be an understatement as we all found our way to our beds rather quickly. My roommate, DoodiRock from 2old2play, and I chatted about our sites and bit, then knocked out for the night. (Editor’s Note: Anyone else see the irony in a Timmy, since I am under 25, rooming with a guy from 2old2play?)

Those few days were one of the most fun and exciting experiences I have ever had. It was so amazing to be able to attend the launch event that night and see that many Halo fans first hand. JVB and I were talking about how much it meant to us to see ‘our people’ from the Halo community turn out in force like that. Beyond the launch, playing the game all day with great people that I admire so much was a blast. I have been doing various interviews here at Tied the Leader for some time now and being able to put a face to so many names, and shake hands with those I have talked and exchanged emails with before is the MOST exciting thing from that whole event for me.

Thanks so much Chris, Tony, John, and Nelson from the Gamerscore Blog for inviting me and letting me experience it all. Also, thank you reader, for showing up to your local store and grabbing Halo 3. Gamers brought so much attention to ourselves for the Halo 3 launch. Media and news really took notice. We broke many records with sales, and with that, many stereotypes as well.

For more information and accounts from others who were there, check out these sites:
Gamerscore Blog, Halo.Bungie.Org, On10, XBL 10k Club, Uncle Gamer Radio, Evil Avatar, Podtacular, Aeropause, Ace Attorney’s Pictures, and Grunts R Us

Posted by Dweezle

Comment 14

  1. #LINK D1001 T0840
    El Burritoh wrote...

    Unfreakinbelievable!

    I’m so glad you to got to attend that, Dweez. It’s a pretty big honor to have TTL invited to such an event! There are some many gaming communities out there, and they couldn’t invite everyone. It’s so awesome that you got to attend! Kinda humbling even.

  2. #LINK D1001 T0925
    Stuicide wrote...

    Great write up. Can’t believe you got to hang out with Bill Gates, Bungie, and some NFL players all in one night.

  3. #LINK D1001 T0942
    TTL Demag0gue wrote...

    Sounds like a fabulous time! I’m jealous. Way to represent, Dweezle! :)

  4. #LINK D1001 T1405
    MrPink4200 wrote...

    Love the write up! That’s the best Halo launch night anyone could have ask for. Next time your in the northwest let me know.

  5. #LINK D1001 T1442
    Alekat wrote...

    Sounds like you had a blast, it must have been hard trying not to look too starstruck all the time, or maybe that would just be me.

  6. #LINK D1001 T1601
    chickachicka wrote...

    That sounds amazing. I’m glad you were able to go and experience something so fun and wonderful. I smiled just reading your write up.

  7. #LINK D1001 T1703
    JVB wrote...

    I had a great time hanging out with you Paul. In my opinion, nothing will top this event.

  8. #LINK D1001 T1757
    Quantifier wrote...

    Great write-up and pics too Dweezle! Hanging with Bungie staff is my kind of celebrity event. What an incredible opportunity and experience.

  9. #LINK D1002 T0203
    XerxdeeJ wrote...

    Paul? Your name is Paul? Holy crap.

    Well done, by the way. My jealousy was aparent, I am sure, in the numerous phone calls while you were there…

  10. #LINK D1002 T1613
    Jungle Animal wrote...

    That looked like it was a lot of fun. Cool stuff!

    Jungle

  11. #LINK D1007 T1457
    VoltRabbit wrote...

    Fantastic write up Dweez! Man, I wish I knew you were coming to Seattle one day earlier! Totally would have made a point to say hello.

  12. #LINK D1008 T1116
    AshofPompei wrote...

    Oh please tell me that wasn’t the party at the Digipen institute. I would have been at that one but decided not to go.

  13. #LINK D1124 T2303
    Cayote wrote...

    That was an awesome read! Don’t ask why I am just getting around to it now LOL! Getting caught up over here! :P

  14. #LINK D0228 T2246
    Term Papers wrote...

    I would like to thank the author of this article for contributing such a lovely and mind-opening article.

commenting closed for this article

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