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.”
Just in case you’ve been asleep for the last 24 hours, it was officially revealed yesterday that the OurColony quasi-Alternate Reality Game was a promotional lead up to the new Xbox 360, scheduled to hit the stores for the 2005 holiday season.
As the countdown timer on the OurColony site expired yesterday, the page changed to reveal a link to a video file, which began with a CG OurColony ant scurrying across the floor to stand at the foot of J. Allard, Corporate VP of Xbox, who proclaims, “You are The Colony. You’ve found your way to the center, and you’re in control. This experience revolves around you. Welcome….to Xbox 360.”
Rumors are flying this morning that the team-based puzzling site Our Colony is in fact a stealth campaign for the upcoming Xbox 2. Some are even going so far as to speculate that 4orty2wo Entertainment of I Love Bees fame is behind it all.
So far, Our Colony has been flying below the radar to a point. A cryptic email was received by an Unfiction member almost a month ago, and a small cadre of folks from there have been playing along in a team-based puzzly mission-style game. Some of the “rewards” have come in the form of screenshots of what can only be described as a sneak peek at new Xbox hardware.
The very first mission involved sending in pictures of the OurColony ant symbol in various locales. In addition, there’s a countdown timer on the site that will reach zero at 8pm PDT on Thursday, May 12. We’ll keep you posted on this, as it may not be too late to jump in and catch up.
Discussion at Unfiction
Lounge at OurColony (link fixed)
Chat in #ourcolony (irc.chat-solutions.org)
[ED. NOTE – 4:30pm PDT]: Despite the rampant speculation to the contrary, ARGN has confirmed that 4orty2wo Entertainment is not behind “Our Colony.”
It looks like ilovebees.com (aka SPiDeR) is definitely tied in with the upcoming Halo 2 release for XBox. Check out the trailer for the game being shown in theaters around the US:
Super Hi-Rez version (64mb) | Regular version
Watch the end. It’s there. So, we know there’s something major going on here, and know that there’s a countdown of sorts in progress. Watch for something big within a few days. With Microsoft and Bungie behind this, who knows how deep this rabbithole will go!