In what has to be one of the most peculiar marketing gimmicks ever witnessed, www.ilovebees.com has become part of the promotional drive leading up to the release of Halo 2 - or at least its beta version. Presented as simply A.N.Other random website about bee-keeping, the URL has apparently been invaded by some kind of viral, or indeed extra-terrestrial, interference.
An intrusive, bugged-out pop-up window leaps onto the homepage declaring ?System Peril Distributed Reflex? with a countdown timer, marked ?Countdown To Wide Awake and Physical? indicating that August 24th 2004 will be a date of some significance. Halo fanatics and Xbox disciples are now widely agreed that this pertains to a Single Player Demo Release ? a viable possibility given the games proposed production timeframe.
Other weird faux-error messages hint at further Halo 2 details. It?s thought that when ?network throttling erodes? on the 27th, the beta-testing phase will have been completed; and when ?the medium begins to metastasize? in two weeks time, production of the actual discs will commence. A Google search for ?metastasization? could not confirm nor contradict this definition at time of press.
It wouldn?t be sensible to interpret this news without a sizeable blanketing of salt, bearing in mind its references to Halo 2 are entirely oblique and ambiguous. However, during the last few seconds of the Halo 2 cinema trailer, the xbox.com logo does momentarily flash into www.ilovebees.com, so there must be some relevance? surely? Either that or someone at Bungie has been staring at a monitor for too long.
Expect more Halo 2 news as soon as we?ve re-configured our SPAM filters to allow bee-keeping and honey related advertisements.