What if a video game world was alive and breathing, before the players have even arrived? This was the starting point for our concept. We wanted to bring to life the game world before the game launches and provoke the players to want to come and bring justice to a world ruled by a merciless Cartel.
To showcase this massive open-world, we made an immersive website featuring the entire 3D map of the game. On this map, gamers explored different environments, day by night, thanks to 50 surveillance cameras streaming more than 8 hours of exclusive videos captured in-game. A second map revealed data about cocaine traffic, money earned by the Cartel and the cost of human life.
To immerse gamers further, we created several missions for gamers who could gather intel on the game factions before the launch.
To document this world, we approached it in a completely new way: like journalists. If the world was to feel real, we had to document it in the most neutral way, just like documentary film makers. The result is something entirely new: a documentary on a virtual world, produced only by capturing in-game footage. During the game’s development, we spent 3 months exploring every area of the map and looking for the most iconic landscapes, explored the lives and rituals of the everyday people and of course witnessed the rampage of a criminal cartel left unchecked.
We then placed all the footage in 50 different cameras on an exact recreation of the actual game map, rendered in WebGL. To bring the map to life, we added subtle design touches such as animals, traffic, trains and planes, which added a layer of depth to the world.
The website went live a month before the game was launched and created incredible engagement with the audience. The average time spent on the website was 8 minutes, but what was even more impressive was that 30% of the visitors spent over 25 minutes on the website. All this lead to a spectacular result: on the 23rd of February, more than 6.8 million players entered this world with no heroes to fight the cartel, making the Ghost Recon Wildlands Beta the most successful Ubisoft Beta to date.
A World with No Heroes is a different kind of direct campaign: it engages with each gamer and lets them explore for themselves the game, before they have even purchased it. Instead of one advertising experience, each user had an entirely different experience based on the way they explored the website. Those who completed the mini-game that was part of the experience received goodies that they could redeem in the game, creating many leads that we activated later for the game beta.
We knew gamers were itching to see the beautiful world in which the game takes places. But a simple trailer would not do the trick, neither would a classical advertising campaign. Gamers wanted to see the real thing, not an artifice.
We decided to capture everything in the game engine, recreate the original map in WebGL on a website and let gamers explore this living world for themselves, before they can even start playing.
You could spend hours exploring the different cameras and the consequences that the actions of the cartel had.