Patapon 2 is a rhythm based PSP game with a difference in that the iconic looking Patapon is a fighter not a dancer. We were briefed to deliver traffic to a microsite and introduce visitors to ‘rhythm based tribal battling’ and the huge stable of Patapon characters.
At Kerb I was lucky to have built a really decent dev team with an incredible animator. The team took a look at the demo of the game and quickly realised that we could probably build a very faithful version in Flash which would allow us to create an incredible experience inside the browser.
We wanted to take this further though. Often, when you are promoting a product, you have surprisingly limited access to artwork and assets. In this instance it wasn’t the case. Rolito (my pal who i hung out with in Japan but who is in fact French and part of the old Team Cham digital team from Lille) had created fantastic, almost iconic, artwork for his game and we had access to as much of it as we wanted.
We decided to take full advantage of this situation and grabbed the lot. The artwork was so unique and compelling that we set about thinking how we could add gamification to the process of getting users to share the images with their peers. We knew from experience that high score tables are a great way of engaging gamers and decided to evolve this process. And we totally cracked it.
A usual branded game process would be:
- Play the game
- Get on the leaderboard
- Share with your friends
Our process was:
- Play the game and battle enemies to unlock game assets
- Use assets to create a Patapon branded digital wallpaper
- Share the wallpaper with your friends and encourage them to download it
- Try and top the leaderboard ranked by the total number of downloads (we created an affiliate link for users to help the process)
We christened this campaign “The Art of War”.
We seeded the viral game across 300 games portals with zero media spend using our inhouse seeding engine ‘Hyperseed’ and leveraging our relationships with big portals owners such as Miniclip, Newgrounds, Mousebreaker and Spil. In total 1.4 million unique users played the game and over 300.000 users continued to play the game on over on the product microsite. More than 100,000 user generated desktop wallpapers were created and the most popular wallpaper was downloaded by almost 7000 people alone – do the maths… that’s a lot of downloaded Patapon wallpapers.
Most tellingly there were regular instances of gamers commenting on forums that they’d never considered Patapon before but after playing the minigame they were planning to purchase the box product.