On May 15th, 2009, over 60 participants in the Mazda 33 Keys ARG met in a Montreal warehouse, led by Pat Martin. Their goals: defeating the Unifos (the ARG’s bad guys), liberating Xira and, ultimately, to finally understand that the soul they were given the mission to recover by Reperio was none other than the Zoom Zoom of the new 2010 Mazda 3.

This ultimate stage in the interactive fiction (developed by Doner Canada and 1976 Productions on behalf of Mazda Canada) gathered all the players who had collected the keys — using various clues dispersed online, on television and radio broadcasts, on posters and in the field — to finally find out which of those keys would unlock the coveted car. Amélie Tremblay was the lucky owner of the winning key. Amélie and her famliy were very active players in the ARG and managed to find a total of seven keys!

It is obviously quite a satisfaction for the puppetmaster — as well as for the winner! — when that person worked really hard for the prize.

This ARG was developed exclusively for the French speaking market in the province of Quebec and was 1976 Productions’ first experience in the genre, and they got the bug! I met with Stéphane Raymond and Guillaume Bilodeau who told me the story behind the Mazda 33 Keys project.

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