Did you know that Microsoft held an Xbox event in an old nuclear fallout bunker in the Czech Republic?
The year is 2006. The Xbox 360 had been out for a year and was slowly catching up to longtime rival, the PlayStation 2. However, the PlayStation 3 was just a few months away from cleaning Microsoft’s clock. Xbox needed a hit, and it needed it bad.
Enter Gears of War, the third-person shooter that put players through a series of waist-high obstacles in their never-ending fight against a mysterious alien invader. Gears of War would go on to be a smash exclusive franchise for Microsoft and spawn four sequels and other spinoff titles.
It also caused some Xbox Live event planners to take over a former nuclear fallout bunker in the Czech Republic.
This story comes courtesy of Reddit user Suz4y, who recently took a tour of several old bunkers in and around Prague. One of them happened to have several Xbox 360 and Gears of War logos, which made her think that something was most definitely up.
And indeed something was! Back in 2006, of course. Major Nelson, a community manager over at Xbox, initially commented that he couldn’t recall what the event was and had to go digging around in the office (although he later confirmed the details). Reddit user seanDmailman chimed in to describe how Microsoft took over the bunker back in 2006 to hold a European release party and tournament for Gears of War. There was music, Xboxes, and a tour of the bunker where folks got to put on gas masks.
With helpfully-provided pics over on Imgur, it’s almost like we’re there and back in a simpler time when nuclear annihilation seemed a far more distant prospect.
Apparently, the design of the bunker may have even influenced the game’s developers. Suz4y commented that the place shared a striking similarity to the design of the jail cell that Marcus Fenix was being held in.
The latest entry to the Gears of War franchise, Gears 5, comes out on September 10th.