Halo Infinite, the newest title from the long-running franchise, had been ordained as a return to relevance for the pioneering series. But the game is off to a rocky start. Originally slated for a release in December on the newly released Xbox consoles, Halo Infinite has been delayed until 2021 without a new release date in place.
While it might be small consolation, in the meantime, Halo fans can blow up Butterfinger asteroids in a new mini-game on Twitch. A return to cultural dominance this is not, but it might satisfy a mild craving.
Butterfinger Halo Havoc is the latest effort by a CPG brand to build connections to the gaming world. Four reasonably large Twitch streamers (ranging between 233,000 and 1.4 million followers) will play the game on their streams starting Dec. 7. Viewers of the stream will be able to play as well, if they have an interest in blowing up Butterfinger asteroids in pursuit of Master Chief, the longstanding hero of the Halo series.
“Butterfinger and the gaming community have been a perfect fit and it has been a blast connecting with such a passionate and engaged group,” said Miguel Zorrilla, marketing director for Butterfinger at Ferrero USA. “The Butterfinger Halo Havoc experience we created with Twitch and Microsoft is a unique way for these fans and streamers to engage with our brand, and we’re excited to see them have fun with it.”
Here’s the schedule for Twitch streamers playing the game:
- RayNavaerzJr: 3 p.m. ET Dec. 7
- Criken: 10 p.m. ET Dec. 7
- Snip3down: 2 p.m. ET Dec. 9
- GoldGlove: Midnight ET Dec. 15
Branded minigames—and even the occasional full title—have been a marketing tactic for years. This Spring, Schick Xtreme created a game called Shave the Day to benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation. And rolling back the clock to 2010, the days of the Xbox 360, saw the creation of the game Doritos Crash Course. (I actually liked that one, but I was 15 at the time so take that with a grain of salt.)
And you can’t talk about branded games without mentioning Sneak King—and its sister titles, Pocketbike Racer and Big Bumpin’—the Burger King title that debuted on the original Xbox in 2006, won a Cannes Titanium Lion and was credited with a huge bump in quarterly sales for BK.
In addition to the new take on Asteroids, Ferrero is also creating a classic CPG activation by awarding in-game items for redeeming a code on a Ferraro candy bar. In the last few months the company has done similar activations with the games Final Fantasy VII Remake and Brawlhalla.
In this case the given items are four unique player emblems in Halo and seven days of Xbox’s new Game Pass Ultimate when the code is redeemed. The free trial of Xbox’s library sounds enticing until you see that Microsoft is offering a full month of free trial for just a buck through its own channels.
This activation was likely set to coincide with the original planned release of Halo Infinite. But with the game delayed, now it’s destined to be a precursor to the actual title.