WE GAVE LOCUST MEAT TO GAMERS  

 

   GEARS OF WAR - MEATS   

Gears of War for XBOX 360 has enjoyed a loyal fan following for years. With an upcoming launch of Gears of War 3, Microsoft wanted to tap into this loyal fanbase and create excitement for the game in a new and unique way.

We created an immersive Alternate Reality Game (ARG) where gamers decoded cryptic URLs and solved elaborate puzzles to locate real world GOW Meats butcher shops who gave away real hunks of limited edition Locust warrior flesh. This "meat" gave them VIP access to exclusive pre-launch parties in Vancouver and Toronto. We watched the activity unfold and monitored thousands of posts and discussions on game forums, blogs, YouTube, Twitter, hotmail, craigslist, foursquare, and photo sites. Along the way we responded and adapted in real time as the core united to solve the mystery.

The program was a massive success. We gave away 100’s of packages of meat to difficult-to-motivate and skeptical gamers. We watched everything happen and reacted in real time and united a disparate gaming community in their quest for locust meat. Best of all, we captured their attention and made them active participants in the launch of Gears of War 3.

An ARG discussion - created by fans - on the Epic Games forum generated an astounding 64 pages of content and garnered well-over 22,000 page views. Fans organized discussions, shared information, and created Launch event reviews and meat review videos. They made unique ARG artwork. 100’s of twitter discussions, Hotmail emails, craigslist inquiries, and Foursquare check-ins happened in 3 short weeks. And we grew the GOWMEATS Klout score from 0-62 And raised Xbox Canada’s score by 4 points in the process.

Dave Stubbs | Mike Halminen | Troy McGuinness | Cam Boyd