The genre of Alternate Reality Games (or Immersive Media, Pervasive Gaming, etc.) may finally be making inroads into the mainstream. Not only is computer/platform gaming media paying attention, such as in the recent story about Ilovebees broadcast on G4TechTV, but marketers are being urged to take notice as well.
Recently, TrendCentral ran a story in their newsletter pointing out the viability of these sort of games, “as their diverse media format seems conducive for brand integration and promotions.” Trendcentral is one of the leading resources for marketing firms and advertising agencies, helping them keep their finger on the pulse of up-and-coming trends in the marketing/promotional field. This makes a lot of sense, as some of the most successful Alternate Reality Games to date have in fact been promotional tools.
While many may criticize promotional ARGs as a cheap marketing ploy, most of those who have played along with such games as A.I.’s The Beast or BMW’s Uncap the Ride will be the first to tell you that when done right, they are highly entertaining, addictive, challenging and ultimately very satisfying in and of themselves. Let’s hope the trend continues.