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Gaming History You Should Know – History of Halo 2’s I Love Bees Campaign November 28, 2020

Posted by Maniac in Gaming History You Should Know, Uncategorized.
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Hope you guys enjoyed your Thanksgiving Holiday and welcome back to today’s featured article of Gaming History You Should Know. As we head into the weekend, I wanted to bring your attention to one of the most well-known and fondly remembered pieces of gaming marketing in the history of the entire video game industry. It all started with a strange website.

In 2004, Halo 2 was gearing up for a November release. A sequel to the Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 was one of the most anticipated games of all time. In fact, I remembered being blown out of my seat when I watched the game’s live demo at E3 2003. I had played the original game on the PC when it rereleased in 2003, but with no indication it’s sequel would ever see a PC release, I decided to buy the Xbox console just so I could play it when it first launched.

A few months before the game launched, a commercial for the game began to be shown at movie theaters across the US. While this would be considered no big deal nowadays, it was a huge deal at the time. When the video was finally put online, viewers worldwide noticed something weird in its last second. A strange site, ilovebees dot com, was superimposed over the official Xbox website for about a second at the end of the video. People who visited the site found a odd blog about beekeeping which looked like its HTML code was badly in need of maintenance.

What was the ilovebees site? It was actually a new type of game, dubbed the ARG, for Alternate Reality Game. But what was the game’s purpose and how did it tie into Halo 2’s marketing campaign? YouTube Channel Rocket Sloth is a Halo archivist and historian. A lot of his videos have either proven, debunked or exclusively solved some of the biggest mysteries in the history of the Halo franchise. Today, we’re going to be highlighting his incredible documentary on Halo 2’s I Love Bees event. Bees, my god.

Halo 2 is out now for the Xbox and PC. It is part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox One, PC, and Xbox Series X/S.