Long-time digital partner Square-Enix, turned to Haven to execute one of their biggest challenges of the year. Deus Ex: Human Evolution was forecasted to be one of the most sought-after games in 2011, acquiring a huge spotlight at E3 and gaming magazines. In conjunction with the talented team at Square Enix, we were able to produce something that was truly one of a kind. We were driven to capture an experience that honed in on the technological and futuristic characteristics of the game.
“Everything you thought you knew about the world has changed.”
Our development team integrated a custom, online Augmented Reality tool that allowed users to use their webcam to interact with various augmented items on screen. Users could choose to augment their arms, their head, their eyes, and other body parts with robotic body parts from Sarif Industries. Once a part was chosen, users were guided through capturing their image using their webcam, and then the robotic parts were applied to them on-screen. Users could then customize the color and brightness of their new augmentation, and ultimately save out an image of their new augmented self. The saved images could be shared on social platforms, and more importantly, they were prompted to submit their creation to the Deus Ex Mosaic.
The user submissions that Square-Enix received were nothing short of amazing! Fans were really enjoying the tools that we provided and had fun enhancing themselves with the robotic augmentations from Sarif Industries! The Deus Ex Mosaic housed a plethora of user submitted photos and made for a memorable and shareable digital experience. The tiles of the Mosaic formed the cover art for the console game, and Haven developed a unique algorithm to color-match the user images to the best-match color location within the cover art. Within the Mosaic, users could pan and zoom to view other submissions in more detail. Users could also enter an ID for their photo so that they could easily find it within the Mosaic.
On top of all of this the Deus Ex: QR Missions iPhone App helped to also drive traffic and interest in the online experience and the game itself. The app was a sort of digital scavenger hunt, where users were prompted to find 20 hidden QR codes that were placed at trade shows, buried in online forum posts, printed on in-store posters, etc. The app was integrated with Facebook Connect, for user account creation and easy social posting. Each time a user found and scanned a hidden QR code, they would earn points and unlock certain items. Unlockable items included exclusive augments for the online Augmented Reality experience, private trailers for the game, cheat codes for the game, and more. To promote the larger fan community using the app as a whole, all user points were aggregated, and if the community hit a certain point threshold, every user of the app would receive a special console skin.
On the backend of the QR Missions App, we developed a custom CMS that allowed Square-Enix to update certain missions and point values for found QR codes on-the-fly, without having to resubmit the app to iTunes for approval. The CMS also allowed the client to monitor user completion progress and the overall progress of the entire user base as a whole. This hybrid approach of native iOS app and CMS-driven HTML page integration allowed for a very flexible and sustainable app to be delivered by Haven.
All parts of this massive campaign worked together to make the QR App a huge success, to drive traffic to the Augmented Reality experience and to the Mosaic, and to ultimately drive traffic to the game’s promotional website. All of that online traffic helped to drive pre-orders and sales of the game. The website and supporting campaigns were a huge accomplishment for all parties involved!