As part of the promotional campaign behind Microsoft's 2012 Xbox 360 shooter Halo 4, the company funded development of a live-action web series called "Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn" that was first posted on YouTube via the Machinima channel in October. This week, Microsoft's efforts paid off in a rather unexpected way – a primetime Emmy Award nomination.
The web series, which was later released as a 90 minute DVD-Blu Ray movie, was one of six series that was nominated for Outstanding Main Title Design. You can see what the Emmy Awards nomination committee saw in the title design in the above video that shows the first part of the series.
While Microsoft never stated how much it spent to produce the web series, one report claimed that the company had a budget of between $5 million to $10 million for "Forward Unto Dawn." That's a decent budget for a TV movie (it certainly cost a lot more than "Sharknado"), but it's a lot less than a typical sci-fi Hollywood feature film costs.
Microsoft has already announced plans to produce "Halo: The Television Series", a live-action show that will be released for its Xbox One console. Other than the fact that Steven Spielberg will be one of its executive producers, Microsoft has not offered any more info on their plans for the series.
Source: Emmy Awards