Mind Candy, the team behind Perplex City, has announced that they have secured an additional $7 million in funding from Accel Partners, Index Ventures, and NewMedia Spark. The funding shows confidence in the growing company and their ability to build and develop new forms of entertainment such as Alternate Reality Games and comes in advance of a major expansion in 2007.
The announcement brings with it great news for all of us involved in that seemingly never-ending hunt for the missing cube. No, the link between Earth and Perplex City is still locked down, Earlywine is still the Council Leader, and the Cube has not yet been found — this news is even more exciting. There is more Perplex City on the way! It is official. The second season of the popular game will be driving us mad sometime in early 2007. They also promise that there are loads of new Perplex City products in development including books, video games, and mobile content.
The UK-based company is also expanding beyond Perplex City and is currently working on a new puzzle brand that will be aimed at a younger demographic. With the creativity and level of depth shown with the universe surrounding Perplex City, we can only assume that children everywhere will have their imaginations ignited and their minds broadened – much to the alarmed delight of their parents and teachers.
Congrats go out to the team! We can’t wait to see what you have in store. Oh, and FYI, faithful readers — we have an inside track into why the story is where it currently is, and perhaps some preview secrets into Season Two, so we’re hoping to get some exclusive information out sooner than later. As always, stay tuned!
Joseph Jaffe, author of Life After the 30-second spot, offered the keynote presentation for the first of four tracks at Picnic ’06. His talk, which revolved around the topics covered in his book and was directed towards marketers, encouraged the audience to look beyond the 30-second spot in order to provide consumers with a story of their brand. The marketing world has changed and the ad industry needs to change with it or they will be left behind. It’s time to move from the linear one-way communication and towards conversations with the consumers.
With so many options available to marketers, there is no longer a single choice on how to reach and connect with today’s elusive disenfranchised consumer. Consumers have begun to outgrow marketing as they can easily access information about the products as well as when and where to buy. That along with the clutter (so many ads), the lack of creativity (what’s the last TV commercial that you *really* remember), consumer awareness (knowledgeable about products and marketing), and unacceptable levels of wastage (broad appeals weaken the message) is killing the 30-second spot. Add in the fact that it’s now more expensive than it ever has been to advertise on television to a “potential” audience and it’s time to rethink the process. It’s time to rethink branding, consumers, advertising, and advertising agencies.
Last Saturday, a small company in Ireland began getting some attention for promising the world free energy. Free! Can you imagine? The social, economic, and political ramifications are huge. Not to mention the scientific ones. For hundreds, thousands, of years people have lived by the law that energy is not free – it takes energy to create energy. Proving that this truth is actually false shakes up countless of theories long accepted as fact. So, who are these brilliant scientists and where is that proof?
Steorn. And they came out of nowhere. This huge, momentous, and guaranteed nobel prize winning discovery, was created by a former e-commerce and security firm that happened to stumble upon the technology while working on something completely unrelated. However, they say, when working on monitoring a new system they discovered that there was a net increase of energy when everything they (and the world) believed told them there should be a net loss. And, instead of tying this groundbreaking technology up in the world of academia, they wanted to make it public and to challenge scientists to prove that their technology works.
It sounds crazy and, whether or not this is true, it is.
It also sounds, based on the activity at Unfiction and the number of tips in our inbox, like the perfect premise for an Alternate Reality Game or a Hoax. Our ARG radar (ARGdar?) has been bouncing back and forth on this one and the debates in chat and on the forums have been great. So, let’s go through what we know.
Yep, that’s right, another mysterious countdown has appeared and this one might just have something to do with a certain gaming console. NotForNoobs.com first appeared last week and savvy gamers will recognize the logo that appears as that of Razer, a company that makes gaming peripherals (that’d be controllers and mice and the like for you non-gamers and computer geeks out there). The signs linking it to the xbox are somewhat weak, but with a few logical leaps, it’s easy to get there. For example, an earlier version of the flash had Microsoft on Channel 1. And, the day that Gizmodo first mentioned NotForNoobs.com, Microsoft hinted at a new optional advanced controller that would perform better when making precise movements.
So, why is ARGN talking about this? Is there an ARG? OMG NOWAI ILB2!?! Let’s not get excited. It’s just a countdown with no other information. It may just end with a redirect to a press announcement for all we know. But, we do know that you all like to go crazy with the spec and watching countdowns count down is oh so much fun!
Follow up 8/23/06 : As the countdown came to an end, gamers everywhere let out a collective “oh.” as they received pictures of a shiny new gaming mouse, the Microsoft Habu, and a press release that detailed some of the unique features. How did we know that’s all we’d get? Such a waste of a good countdown, too. And, as if that wasn’t disappointing enough, the real wait has just begun. If you’re interested in this low sensitivity mouse with an advanced sensor that promises virtually no latency with the speed of a wired mouse and the feel of a wireless device, don’t go heading out to your favorite store today because you aren’t going to get your hands on the Habu until October.
Looking for a fun, well written, and nicely executed experience?
Then check out the red hot summer campaign brought to you by Target. It’s not an ARG, but you’ll be able to follow along as a girl takes an impulsive trip around the US giving you little puzzles* along the way. Not only that, you’ll get a new song each week and have the chance to enter to win a little red convertable. Not bad! The whole run through should take you about a half an hour or so and, while it’s not as big or as in-depth as a full blown ARG, it’s a great little diversion.
*ok,ok, they’re not up to your standards and they pretty much give you the answer, but it’s still pretty cool.
Stranger Adventures, produced by the two-time Emmy nominee, Riddle Productions, launches new adventures every Saturday. Each puzzle-filled adventure lasts for one week and is delivered through emails and video diaries on the Stranger Adventures website. The adventures are designed in a way that you can work through them by yourself and, if you happen to get stuck, the website contains clues to help you along. At the end of the week, those who solve the adventure’s pass code may find a bit more cash in their pocket. That’s right, each adventure comes with a prize of up to $25,000. There’s still time to sign up for the latest adventure: Daily Rage. So, what are you waiting for, head on over to StrangerAdventures.com and flex those puzzle muscles with a little story action.
Editors’ Note: We mistook the name of the production company, Riddle Productions. This error has been corrected in the article.