Ubisoft sends Splinter Cell fans racing

To promote the release of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction, the gamemaker staged a seemingly impromptu stunt in the middle of Toronto's Comic Con.

Ubisoft wasn’t about to let the hero if its Splinter Cell game series, Sam Fisher, have all the fun with the hot game’s new release, and decided this weekend to bring fans into his heart-racing world.

Fans of the game gathered at Toronto’s Comic Con exhibition this weekend to claim their prize for being one of the first 40 people to pre-order Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction through online retailer Gamestop.ca. But the roundtable discussion they were supposed to be participating in was abruptly halted, the lights dimmed and an inscription appeared on the wall with cryptic instructions. The fans were armed with a ‘survival kit’ and sent on a five-hour, Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt across Toronto.

The event culminated with a break-out-of-jail challenge and then the winners, Toronto’s John and Christopher Kalanderopoulos, were whisked away to Montreal via helicopter to Ubisoft’s Canadian HQ, where they toured the shop and had a free weekend in the city. The brothers then got to further channel their inner Sam Fisher by previewing the game with developers two weeks before its release.

The contest winners’ exploits were followed live on Ubisoft’s and Xbox Canada’s social media pages. The game is exclusive to the Xbox console.

The contest was executed by Ubisoft Montreal and Xbox Canada with Mississauga’s Mosaic Experiential Marketing. Xbox Canada’s lifestyle marketing manager Christina Verdurmen said the contest was targeted at the console’s core 18- to 34-year-old, male-focused demographic.

‘Anybody can launch a game, but what we really wanted to do here is let people live the game,’ Verdurmen told MiC. ‘The contestants actually became Sam Fisher, and we took scenarios from the game and recreated them in real life. It was showing consumers that with Xbox, we can give you the most exciting gaming experience outside of the console, and with the tie-back to retail, it also helped working with [online retail partner] Gamestop to help increase pre-orders of the game.’

Since launching 2002′s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, the four editions of the action-packed videogame have sold a cumulative total of 19 million copies around the world.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction, with veteran Canadian actor Michael Ironside voicing the role of lead character Sam Fisher, will be released for Xbox 360 and PC on April 13.