Microsoft reaches out to Silicon Valley elite with 'Halo 3' event

Developers, gamers and investors are among the 700 who registered for pre-launch event.

Microsoft hosted a Halo 3 pre-launch party for an invite-only group of gamers, investors and other 'tech influencers.' Daniel Terdiman/CNET Networks

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--With thousands of Halo fans lined up for midnight madness events in cities around the country, you might wonder why Microsoft is hosting a pre-launch event at its Silicon Valley campus here just hours before.

Well, according to Doug Free, the company's Silicon Valley public relations director, it's a chance to celebrate the developer community here and the theory that some of the most important coders in the region may also be serious gamers.

That was the concept, at least, behind planning this event--for which more than 700 people registered to attend.

"The whole idea was to invite the developer community, tech influencers and gamers," said Free, "to come and compete, see a preview (and) enjoy Halo 3."

But Free said the event is also a chance for Microsoft to showcase some of its new developer tools. As for whether a bunch of people in a Halo-induced frenzy want to mess around with development software is something I'll just have to answer later, as right now, all I can see around me is people interested in wolfing down food, quaffing free beer and--naturally--playing the much-anticipated game.

The rationale for the party, Free continued, was pretty straightforward: "We know (a lot of developers) are serious gamers, so why not have a Halo 3 party for developers in the Bay Area?"

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