When Microsoft announced the release date of Halo 4, more than a few eyebrows were raised. While the long awaited sequel to Microsoft’s flagship series was treated as welcome news, many thought that the title’s expected release of November 6th–the same date as the Presidential election in the United States–was a strange choice.
Some even believed that the release date was specifically chosen to impact the election’s outcome. Although Microsoft has openly stated that the release date was purly coincidental, the company seems to be taking further steps to assure critics that they don’t intend to have any impact on the election.
Microsoft will be posting coverage of the coming election for free on their Xbox Live service. Coverage will include four debates between the presidential and vice-presidential candidates. As added incentive, those that watch any three of the four events will receive a free suit of armour for their Xbox Live avatar.
The armour bears a striking similarity to the suit worn by Master Chief and the other spartans of the Halo universe. Although it’s not advertised as a response to the Halo 4 release controversy, it seems an awful lot like the company is trying to save face.
Personally, I think this is probably the best way that the company can defuse the conspiracy theories around it while keeping a release date that’s pretty appealing due to its closeness to the holiday season. As a bonus, anything that gets citizens more involved in the political process should be considered a good thing, even if they’re just doing it to dress their virtual selves up.