If the number of alternate reality games centering around video games are any indication, video game publishers “get” ARGs. Activision promoted the release of GUN with “Last Call Poker”. Sony promoted Uncharted with “Sullivan Stories”. And perhaps most famously, Bungie Entertainment promoted the release of Halo 2 with “I Love Bees”, and followed that up with “Iris” for Halo 3.
While you’re waiting for the rumored ARG for Resistance: Fall of Man, check out Gamecock Media Group’s new alternate reality game promoting Velvet Assassin, a stealth action game coming soon to XBox360s and PCs. And I’m not just saying that because they sent us a bar of fake Nazi gold.
That’s right, ARGNet received a bar of gold from the Deutsche Reichsbank over the weekend, along with two stickers leading to Follow-the-Dream.com, which redirects to ViolettesDream.com. In addition, there was a note written in German with a Post-It note telling players to “Help me stop them — Follow-the-Dream”. Since it sometimes takes a few extra days for mail to reach Canada, the folks at Destructoid and Unfiction have already translated the letter. One of the commenters on Destructoid notes that “If RedRabbit’s translation is right, you just got a Nigerian scam email in videogame PR form.”
It appears that Dan Corrigan, field operation assessor for an insurance company, is digging into the past, involving artifacts from World War II in particular. And somehow, this relates to a vast conspiracy to cause economic markets to plummet, inflating the price of gold. The man behind the Violette’s Dream website is intent to stop the nefarious plot, and somehow Violette Summer, the protagonist of the Velvet Assassin game, is posthumously involved in everything.
So far, Violette’s Dream is shaping out to be your standard alternate reality game (if there is such a thing) with stegged images, ciphers, blogs, and even a Twitter account. However, a recent presentation at EIEIO 2008 implies Gamecock might be going a bit further with this project. Replay Studios Creative Director Sascha Jungnickel mentioned at EIEIO that players would be able to use the game’s “morphine” mode mechanic to overdose and uncover hidden clues leading players to find hidden Nazi gold in real life. So while many alternate reality games end with the release of the game, it appears Velvet Assassin might continue the ARG, using the game as a vehicle to tell the story.