Marketing and Social Media Support, Creative and Art Direction, eCommerce, ARG, UI/UX
EA and Visceral wanted to celebrate the grand finale in the Dead Space trilogy by putting together a collector’s edition like no other, and for this one, they sought outside help.
We designed a collector’s edition radically different than what had been done before. Not just through attention to detail and keeping all elements in fiction, or for the fact that we hid clues to an Alternate Reality Game in every part of its construction, but also because this was the first collector’s edition they would offer day and date — internationally — and while still allowing retailer exclusives.
We did this through an experiment: offering a discounted version of the collector’s edition that shipped with all the goodies but without the game itself. That way, exclusive DLC could still be gathered up from your vendor of choice and everyone would get all the toys at the same time.
- Metal Containment Unit case
- SCAF Journal with bellyband
- Detail of filled in journal page
- 8″ Black Marker sculpture and Shipping Container box
- Sculpture with mug for scale
- “Vintage” SCAF posters
- Aluminum Data Pad with exclusive art
- Detail of art printed on acetate to mimic the in-game item
- Med Pack water bottle
- Detail of “medical use” directions
- Peng post cards replicating those from the space station
- Mini art book
The collector’s edition was sold through a dedicated micro-site (left) to make fulfillment and metrics easier on our dedicated team as well as keep the expected data spike from causing issues further up the chain.
Since the Dev Team Edition had the ability to arrive before the street date of the game itself, we were left with a little bit of a quandary regarding how to fill the time between the two (which could potentially be two weeks!). Visceral and EA were kind enough to let us do something else a bit more unusual an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). We seeded interviews and press materials with tiny clues, made in-fiction posts on Reddit, and hid puzzles in individual pieces of the Dev Team Edition like the Containment Case and particularly the SCAF Journal that hinted at something the fictitious Dr. Serrano was working on before his disappearance. Ultimately, the clues led to a separate website (right) and a deeper, interactive puzzle.
Who better to describe the product than the developers and designers themselves? We met the team, talked over the best way to explain the passion and careful consideration that went into the Dev Team Edition and how that mirrored the efforts put into the game, culminating in how both reflect wanting to bring fans the best experience possible.
Along with this video we arranged for a number of “unboxing” videos, showing fans opening and revealing the contents of the case.
Done in partnership with Treehouse Brand Stores, LTD
Categories: Video Games, Collector’s Edition, eCommerce, ARG
Alternate Reality Game Design