Vision TV bows first RPG for new show
The multi-player online game is designed to grow audiences for the new TV series, and is also a new model for monetizing digital entertainment assets, via in-game advertising and brand integration opps.
Developed as an integrated digital extension and traffic driver for Vision TV’s new iProphesy series by Toronto-based digital boutique Secret Location, Iprophesy.net draws on both multi-player gaming and social media to provide new ways for fans to get involved – creating, by extension, communities around the show and reaching younger demos in its RPG immersive experience.
Vision TV’s 17-part series, each focusing on a different potential scenario for humanity – from rising oceans and asteroid showers to a nuclear attack – launched Jan. 27. Now show fans are exploring online ‘worlds’ modelled on the scenarios, and are inserting themselves into the prophesized scenarios via role play and custom avatars. Avatars are encouraged to chat and collaborate with other players in real time, creating online forums.
Both the website and the TV show have been aggressively promoted through search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and social media channels, with writers employed to build grassroots buzz in topic- and demo-specific online forums.
Secret Location, who owns the Iprophesy.net property and engine, is licensing the show rights to the network and charging for advertising within the game. Founder and creative director James Milward says the game was developed around sponsorship integration opportunities specifically, offering advertisers new ways to reach consumers, and digital prod-cos looking to monetize their work beyond the work-for-hire model, a tantalizing alternative.
‘Instead of obtrusive banners or pre-roll,’ explains Milward, ‘sponsors can ‘clothe’ avatars [in products] like Nike sneakers, or create contextual advertising within specially created positions. The site can also be quickly re-skinned to suit any brand or TV show’s particular requirements.’