How I helped design the portal for a AAA game franchise
THQ selected BLITZ as the agency that would entirely create, from concept to implementation, the site for the third iteration of their popular game Saints Row.
Beginning with a teaser site that went live in spring 2011, utilizing key art and game elements as part of an online magazine. This teaser site was later enhanced in June 2011 as part of Phase Two, which introduced gangs and key characters for the upcoming game.
The second phase leveraged another THQ FPS title, Red Faction: Armageddon. Consumers who bought that game were givenaccess to an exclusive online tool, the Saints Row: The Third, "Initiation Station." This tool enabled users to create and customize their own Saints Row characters. These user-generated characters could then be pushed to the website, where they'd be viewed, rated and even used in-game by other members of the community. Popular characters could win their creators additional points and rewards.
Finally, Phase Three was timed to coincide with the game launch, unveiling the full site and highlighting all the game's most compelling aspects along with still more game-to-web features. Social components allowed users to compare stats and challenge each other to compete for kills and accomplishments. The site tracks both global and personal information, including an interactive map allowing the user to survey the entire in-game city to determine where they've previously been and which areas are currently populated with other users.All these web interactions drive an exclusive online economy, which rewards users for continued engagement. Gamers accrue points for everything from completing a new level to uploading videos of their in-game experiences, which can then be "liked" by others in the community, resulting in even more points.
Thanks in large part to our efforts, all early projections from THQ point toward Saints Row: The Third becoming the most successful title in the franchise by early 2012. Online engagement numbers were huge, with visitors to The Initiation Station creating over a million unique characters before the game had even been out a week. Of these, over 250,000 had been shared or posted online to the Saints Row site.