Fans of 2K Games’ viral campaign, Something in the Sea had a strange encounter this past Saturday. Several players reported that they had received a mysterious telegram from the game’s hero, Mark Meltzer, advising them to be on the lookout for a package from him within the next day. The telegram itself was more than enough to excite the fans of the game, but what stood out the most to all the recipients was the deliveryman who knocked upon their door.
Mark avoided such popular delivery services as UPS, Fedex or even USPS and instead sent his parcels via Speedy Brothers. An apparent transplant from the sixties, the Speedy Brothers deliverymen made their deliveries on vintage bicycles and in full costume. One thoughtful player had the presence of mind to capture a picture of one of the rare and elusive deliverymen dropping off his telegram.
Players fortunate enough to receive the telegrams soon found themselves in possession of a splicer mask–one of the decorative masks seen in Bioshock 1 adorning the maddened splicers who attacked and harassed players throughout the game. Mark has continued his investigation into the disappearance of his daughter, Cindy, and he recently uncovered a warehouse full of Rapture artifacts. Players admired his find from afar until, unexpectedly, they found themselves in possession of the very same artifacts with a request for help from Mark.
While Bioshock 2 looms on the horizon, 2K Games is still pulling players in with an ever-evolving story and continued real world interaction. The success of Bioshock 2 remains to be seen, but the buzz and excitement 2K Games is building up around their product is readily apparent. Several video games have used viral marketing in the past but Something in the Sea continues to distance and set itself apart from those previous campaigns. The weekend deliveries made by the Speedy Brothers widen that gap and raise the bar for future campaigns.
A special thank you to Precarious from the 2K Games message boards for allowing the use of her photographs.