Halo is an award-winning, multi-billion dollar video game franchise that is owned by Microsoft Studios / 343 Industries. Grossing over $3.4 billion, it’s the jewel in the Xbox crown. Over the course of a multi-year partnership, we helped 343 industries evolve, design, and build their web and second screen experiences. From web to mobile to SmartGlass, we helped Halo dominate the evolving world of connected game experiences. The fruits of the partnership culminated in Halo 4 winning the coveted “Outstanding Achievement in Connectivity” from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences in 2013.
The Halo Universe is one rich with users game data and content. When we initially partnered with 343 Industries, this data was locked within the game. How could this massive set of data manifest itself into experiences across gamers’ varied devices? How could this be done in a way that promotes innovation by creating a modern and maintainable system, where the tech can evolve as fast as the ideas? All while keeping games in peoples homes and not the used bins, thereby increasing the revenue of a prized franchise.
We mapped out the means to integrate that data and live, in-game information so that it could be shared across mobile devices and integrated with the online gaming experience. We helped Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries evolve their technical strategies to handle the transition and future growth, expansion, and technological changes. This multi-device and modern web strategy enabled the creation of the ground breaking Halo Atlas application for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, which makes real-time mapping work between the console gaming environment and the player’s device of choice.
A year later, Cynergy and 343 Industries were then able to build on top of this platform to bring Halo 4 to life with a rich HTML5 game stats experience that connected a gamer’s stats to an episode-based game experience called Campaigns. This all helped to keep Halo fans chronically engaged, playing and anticipating the next experience.
How do you further engage the dedicated “Halo Nation” gaming community–already accustomed to incredible graphics, and state-of-the-art technology–with a seamless experience across all of their devices?
Working hand-in-hand with Microsoft Studios’ Creative Directors, we completely redesigned and reestablished the look of Waypoint, setting the standard for what true Halo connected experiences should look and feel like. The new look was so well received that Microsoft Studios / 343 Industries integrated our design updates to their Xbox and Windows Phone platforms.
Quick iteration allowed us to establish a design direction that was above and beyond initial expectations, leading to a more exciting and immersive experience.
We designed a rich, immersive experience that connects Halo players with their own real-time stats and works on any device–mobile, tablet, desktop, SmartGlass, and even television.
The Halo connected applications are designed and developed to be fully responsive. Regardless of how a player chooses to access it–Xbox, tablet, phone, SmartGlass, or desktop–they get the right experience for the device they love.
To facilitate future maintenance and innovation, we built the experience on a foundation of modern technology including, but not limited to, ASP.net MVC, Backbone.js, Windows Azure, TypeScript, HTML5, CSS3, and PhoneGap. This foundation enabled quick innovation on a stable and maintainable system, while allowing for shared code between desktop, SmartGlass, and mobile. We collaborated with Microsoft and 343 technologists to build a system not only to last, but to evolve across platforms.
A significant testing and multi-discipline review effort ensured that we delivered engaging, adaptive, high performance, consistent experiences across multiple platforms and devices.
We helped Microsoft and 343 Industries deliver Atlas to the Apple iTunes and Android Play stores, including in-app purchasing options, allowing for sales of additional content while also monetizing the mobile experience, all while passing the stringent Xbox Live security audits.
We worked alongside Microsoft and 343 Industries to ensure the Waypoint web and connected experiences shipped on the same day as Games rolled into physical stores. This effort helped make the release of Halo 4, the “biggest entertainment launch of the year” bringing in over $220 million in one day.
Waypoint launched in tandem with the release of Halo 4. Coincidently, this became one of the biggest video entertainment release events in history. Halo 4 grossed over $220 million on its launch day and more than 1 million people played the game on Xbox Live within the first 24 hours of its release.