Explore the Infinite

At Ambition we could not be more excited to play No Man’s Sky! So, we thought why not combine our love of games and expertise in events and marketing to conceptualise what we would do to promote it.

Whilst no official release date has been set, anticipation for No Man’s Sky is incredibly high amongst the gaming community due to the enormous technical scope of the game and the actual mystery of what is at the center of the universe.

Whilst it’s very much a personal journey of discovery and exploration, the player won’t be the only one out there. It’s a game that will undoubtedly be filled with watercooler moments, comparing discoveries with other adventurers. We want to replicate this in the real world.
 

The big idea: Journey of discovery

Ambition would create a pre-launch experiential pop-up event that showcases and reflects the gaming experience of No Man’s Sky.

Fans would catalog certain locations around a city to gain access to an exclusive event, the more locations they catalog, the greater there experience and chance of winning a prize draw.

Whilst events such as this are not uncommon, for a game such as No Man’s Sky, the publicity, overall experience and most importantly word of mouth generated by fans would be imperative. It’s an indie game, made by a small studio and is incredibly ambitious. Outside of the core audience (those gamers that are fans of indie titles such Journey or Flower) – it could be a very hard game to market to a wider audience who isn’t willing to take risks on new IP’s.

Also as the game, is not a Playstation exclusive, creating an event and word of mouth allows Sony to at least initially create a strong brand association with the title.

Location is imperative:

Finding the right location to host the event in is imperative.

In the heart of London we find a unique secret location and design the interior to mimic a planet landscape from the game. This would be done through the use of props, such as sand, plants and custom built architectural structures. The environment would be augmented with looped wall projections of creatures and space ships flying to give a sense of a living environment. Within this environment would be gaming stations to allow users time to demo the game, with staff on hand to explain controls, gameplay mechanics and ensure everyone has a fair turn.

Choice of environment is key – it has to be architecturally interesting, unique and of course functional. These are locations that best represent discovery. Whilst a fan might live in the city, it’s not somewhere they would have typically been before.

The surroundings and architecture are unique and with SeaLife center it immerses you and truly reflects some of the imagery seen in the game.

A few solutions may be commonly used warehouses or underground vaults however the optimum solution could be one of the following:

The Walkways at Tower bridge

Atlantic cove at Sea life Center

How does it work?

To gain access to the event users must find and ‘catalog’ certain local landmarks to gain access to the event. The landmark locations would be teased via clues and tightly cropped pictures through official social channels. Near each of these landmarks would be a No Man’s Sky representative handing out info cards featuring the No Man’s Sky logo.

These cards are essentially tickets to the event and there will be a limited amount per location. Locations will be teased throughout the day to minimize wait times at the experience itself, prolonging the experience and giving fans a fair chance to gain access.

To gain entry to the event, fans will have to catalogue a location. The process of cataloging will utilise the Blippar augmented reality app (you can read about why we love blippar here). The ticket at each location will be Blippable.

Once Blipped, fans will be able to see the world of No Man’s Sky come alive around them through their mobile phone. Fans then must take a photo and share it with the event hashtag #exploretheinifinte. Fans are then given the location of the event by the representative at the location.

The benefit of using Blippar is that fans will be able to see more information about the game, watch a video or even link to a retailer to pre-order the game. The process of Blipping is quite unique and futuristic so it really feels like, as a fan, that you are in fact ‘cataloging’ something.

For those unfamiliar with Blippar, using it will create a ‘wow’ moment for them and a sense of discovery again reinforcing core tenants of the game.

The ticket at each location will feature a unique code. Having 1 ticket will give you access to the event and 1 entry into a prize draw. The more locations you discover, the more tickets you’ll receive giving you multiple entries into the draw giving and more chance of winning a No Man’s sky prize pack.

The main prize could include:

A visit to and developer chat with Hello Games.
A free signed copy of the game.
Free DLC (Downloadable content)
Input on future DLC – such as choosing the colour scheme of a ship or armour.
Small branded merchandise (Posters, keyrings etc.)

Runners-up could receive:

Win a free copy of the game.
Small branded merchandise.

Partnerships

Partnering with retailers such as Game can help drive pre-orders at the event and potentially in-store as well as awareness of the event. The extent of that partnership could even include co-financing.

 

Alternative Approach.

Alternatively create a social treasure hunt and don’t hold a demo event. With a No Man’s Sky pilot walking around key city locations cataloging landmarks through posting a series of clues, gps coordinates, close up crops across social channels.

The idea is to showcase the images as though they have been scanned and are being transmitted to the fans from outer space.

Fans then have one hour to decipher and reach the location. The 1st person at the location could receive a copy of the game and some merchandise; runners-up will receive smaller merchandise as well.