Live Games Network, which we were pointed to thanks to a tip from c|net’s Daniel Terdiman, is a recently-founded company that “produces and directs games that let players live a fictional adventure for set period of time,” according to their web site. Their first campaign, titled The Prague Files, is set to launch on December 4th of this year, and will last for fourteen days. It looks like it will be a mysterious spy-themed game, based on the video preview you can find on the LGN site, and will require “a cell phone, an email address and web access” to play. There is a contest element, promising prizes such as XBox 360 and PSP game packs, as well as a one week trip to Prague for the winner and a friend, but the contest is limited to U.S. residents (except Maryland, Vermont and New Jersey). Oh, and it’s subscription based — according to the rules of the game, “once you have paid the subscription fee, there will be no refunds for any reason, including, but not limited to, lack of participation in the Contest.”
So, why do we care? Well, if this delivers what it appears to promise, this may be the type of interactive experience many of you might enjoy. If it has a story arc, coupled with interactive features and puzzles, in a real-time environment, then that might mean it’s an ARG, even though the site doesn’t refer to the game as such. The Training link on the page refers to a game, DeltaOneZero, which was concluded in December of 2003, that was described as “one of Australia’s first cross-media, web based gaming experiences.” However, with the subscription model (which requires a credit card for payment, incidentally) intact, will it reach as large an audience as it could without the pay-to-play aspect? And will a worldwide audience embrace a contest that can only be won by an American participant which is being put on by a relatively unknown upstart company? I guess we’ll find out in 41 days.