Software biggies launch Far Cry 2 holla

Ubisoft Montreal and Microsoft Canada teamed up on a new integrated campaign this week, targeting the country's developer talent where they play.

Interactive product developer Ubisoft Montreal and Microsoft Canada announced plans this week for a new kind of integrated marketing campaign targeting the country’s developer talent through in-game advertising. Together they’re hosting a co-branded secret section for gamers within the Canadian version of the Far Cry 2 website, where sweet info nuggets about the game, Microsoft’s Visual Studio dev system, and other Microsoft-based developer software are found – attracting both Canadian developers and hardcore Far Cry 2 fans alike.

The secret location (to which players are driven by way of dynamic in-game ads built into Far Cry 2 through Toronto-based Massive Incorporated’s tech), invites gamers to download free trials of Microsoft’s Visual Studio developer software, a free PC map sponsored by Microsoft Canada, and to view a diary that includes testimonies from the Far Cry 2 development team about its use of Visual Studio.

The website also hosts a quiz that allows players to register for a chance to win a spot in a group session to play against members of the Montreal-based Far Cry 2 development team.

‘The developer community in Canada is a unique group,’ Maclaren McCann/M2 Universal account director Ariel Vinizki, tells MiC. ‘And while small in absolute numbers, they over-index as gamers. They love to be challenged, to figure out the puzzle – so having Visual Studio provide them with additional gaming opportunities, on a blockbuster title, will be appealing,’ he explains. ‘We also knew that if we created something interesting enough that they would find us. Providing exclusive content, and the opportunity to play directly against the actual developers of Far Cry 2, is the type of challenge they get excited about. So instead of trying to push our message out to them, we created an offering that we hoped would pull them in and make them want to engage.’

Describing MacLaren McCann/M2 Universal’s strategy for this media buy, Chris Falkner, manager, digital communications, M2 Universal Digital, tells MiC ‘when we identified gaming as a core passion of the developer community, we developed a strategy to build an interactive and engaging gaming experience that could be owned by Visual Studio. We decided we wanted a program that extended Visual Studio awareness beyond the banners – something that would resonate with the gaming community in hopes of creating additional online buzz and excitement,’ he says.

‘This [media] strategy was a great complement to the campaign overall,’ adds Vinizki. ‘It brought a whole new level of integration by combining the in-game medium, while also creating a robust online and viral component. It also managed to help foster a deeper relationship between Ubisoft and Microsoft, both of whom are very invested in the Canadian developer community,’ says Vinizki.