2015 has been a tremendous year for big video game promotions and record-breaking sales and launches, which is reflected in some of the unique campaigns that were run to promote them. Here are some of the biggest, boldest, and most successful video game promotional campaigns of 2015.

Fallout 4 Sets the World on Fire

Publisher and developer, Bethesda Softworks, began Fallout 4‘s juggernaut campaign with a teaser trailer that ended up being one of YouTube’s most-watched gaming videos of 2015. It was then followed by pre-E3 press briefing earlier this year, where the game was officially revealed with a gameplay demonstration, a first-look at the special Pip-Boy Edition and companion app, a release date for within the year, and the completely unexpected launch of Fallout Shelter   a Fallout themed mobile game where players construct, manage and defend an underground Vault (an elaborate bomb shelter).

There has been no stopping the Fallout 4 hype machine in the following months, which has included everything from a real-life Nuka Cola Quantum (an in-game soft drink) themed soda, to an extremely popular and effective video series detailing the seven SPECIAL skills players can look forward to. To top it all off, a mobile app called Fallout CHAT released a week before the game’s launch, which lets users communicate with each other using Fallout themed animated GIFs and emoji. All this led to a record-breaking launch that totaled $750 million in sales after its first week.

Just Cause 3‘s Island Giveaway

With Just Cause 3, players are encouraged to leave a wake of destruction behind as they traverse a wide open world set in the fictional Mediterranean island nation of Medici. To stir up anticipation, the game’s marketing had to be just as bold and creative. Part of its promotional campaign includes a Collector’s Edition featuring a life sized model of the main character’s grappling hook arm brace. Additionally, there is a special series of Wingsuit VR videos, watchable through YouTube or using an app, which let audiences get a 360-degree view from the sky as chaos and explosions erupt.

However, these seem almost tame in comparison to the Just Cause 3 Win an Island Challenge, where those who pre-ordered the game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One compete against each other to rack up the highest in-game score by creatively causing chaos. The winner wins a real life private island to call their own.

Star Wars Battlefront Beta Breaks Records

Star Wars fandom reached an all-new heights this year with the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens movie, and few other products took advantage of the enthusiasm the way Star Wars: Battlefront did. Officially revealed in April and developed by DICE (of Battlefield fame), the game puts players in the role of a Rebel soldier or Empire Storm Trooper, fighting each other in iconic scenes from the movie series.

In October, weeks before the game officially released, a public beta was hosted to give developers a work out any game kinks, while giving fans have a chance to try out the game before they decide to buy. The response was tremendous, with a record-breaking 9.5 million participants taking part, making it the biggest beta in EA history, and building up anticipation for the game’s launch.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Survives Its Fans

Lara Croft saw a very successful revival when the Tomb Raider reboot launched in 2012. The follow-up released this year as an Xbox One exclusive, and Microsoft spared no expense in promoting it. However, some of the more creative promotional campaigns included a living billboard, where eight devoted fans were challenged to survive against harsh conditions (as voted on by viewers) like snow storms and rain for 24 hours.

Promotions featuring viewer interaction didn’t stop there. Viewers who tuned in to Rise of the Tomb Raider streams from their Xbox Ones received in-game gifts. Additionally, streamers had the option of turning on Expedition Mode, which lets viewers decide the player’s load out before they take on special challenges, leading to unpredictable results. One of the most popular modifications included giving Lara an extremely exaggerated “Big Head” as made her way through the obstacles.

Halo 5: Guardians Sets World Record

It has been a great year for Halo fans, with the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection last fall, leading into the launch of Halo 5: Guardians in October. The Master Chief Collection included access to an early Halo 5 multiplayer beta, and the Master Chief’s momentum continued from there. 

As part of the game’s promotion, Halo 5 hosted a global celebration in the form of a six-hour live YouTube broadcast as it counted down to the game’s official launch. That broadcast ended up in the Guinness World Records as the “Most Watched Video Game Launch Broadcast.” That’s not the only record the game set, since it went on generate over $400 million in global sales within its first week, making the franchise’s lifetime revenue over $5 billion.

Sony PlayStation Turns Up the Love

PlayStation love is at an all-time high, and Sony has taken advantage of it with events like live broadcasting its E3 presentation to select theaters across the US and Canada so that fans can come together and celebrate. It was at there that Sony revealed a flurry of surprises, which included a teaser trailer for a Final Fantasy 7 Remake, a lengthy gameplay video for The Last Guardian (finally ending rumors of the game being canceled), the launch of Shenmue 3‘s Kickstarter campaign (another game franchise fans thought abandoned), and how Call of Duty: Black Ops III was officially throwing its main support behind the PlayStation 4.

Enthusiasm for the PlayStation 4 reverberated throughout the year, and could still be felt at the recent PlayStation Experience event, where nostalgia still played a big role in showcasing and announcing upcoming games for the PS4 and PlayStation VR.

Microsoft Augments Reality

Microsoft has had a very good year by saying a little and doing a lot, starting with announcing in January that Windows 10 would be a free upgrade for all Windows 7 and 8.1 users for a year. There’s no better price than free, and the strategy has led to a very successful launch of the new operating system, which has cross-connective features with the Xbox One gaming console.

The Xbox One also saw some major upgrades with the launch of a backwards compatibility, which allows owners to access dozens of select games from the Xbox 360’s library. A very attractive feature, considering how this fall’s releases are marked by a great many sequels, like the previously mentioned Fallout 4. At the same time, Microsoft announced and launched an Elite controller, which quickly sold out among online retailers, despite the $150 price tag.

Last but not least, in a year when technology discussions have mainly been around virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift, Microsoft surprised audiences with the announcement of the HoloLens, which takes a decidedly different approach by augmenting reality with interactive graphics. Coupled with the announcement of an augmented reality version of Minecraft, along with other gaming innovations like Project X-Ray, the device tends to steal some of the spotlight away from VR whenever it takes to the stage.