For the launch of their latest game, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Capcom wanted to bring their characters to life in a way that reflects the game itself: By the players representing the bad guys – Umbrella Corporation. We were tasked with creating a narrative that brings to life the world of Resident Evil, interweaving elements of live team-based game play, an augmented reality experience, and the opportunity to play a new Resident Evil game release.
London is besieged by zombies. Umbrella Corp have taken a Shoreditch venue as their temporary HQ; here squadrons of soldiers are briefed on their latest mission – to recover incriminating data stored on a computer somewhere in East London, and to return to HQ for extraction before a nuclear device is detonated.
In groups players left Umbrella Head Quarters to complete their mission. A specially designed App lead them to areas infected by augmented reality zombies. Players faced attack from real life zombies and Government Spec Ops as they walked the course through the street of London.
Once their mission was complete, players returned to an HQ overrun by the infected and Spec Ops. If they succeeded in shooting down the enemy they entered HQ only to find the data they retrieved was to be used against them in the development of a deadly fighting machine.
We worked with The Tom Sawyer Effect and PAN Studio to develop the physical gameplay and pervasive game structure. We agreed that that the immersive theatre elements should be integrated as tightly as possible with the digital and augmented reality rather than just ‘book-ending’, and so the app led the players through a terrifying world of our design.
We worked with a team of over 25 cast and crew to bring the experience to life. We cast and ran workshops with our actors to ensure they were prepared for any reaction the players might have, as well as ensuring that the 20 teams had a seamless experience – our actors delivered instructions and assistance on how to use the app in character, as well as ensuring the smooth transition of players between “scenes”.
We draped the narrative around experiential ‘flashpoints’ such as a laser-filled apartment, a zombie infested church courtyard, a shoot-out with government troops, and a terrifying encounter with a ‘Tyrant’ – the RE series’ most fearsome foe.
RE:ORC sold two million copies globally and was the #1 game in the UK.
We received coverage on over 30 gaming websites and another dozen blogs, with at least half a dozen of them running video features on the event,as well as being covered in the much-desired non-gamer press, including Heat Magazine, Forbes, CityAM, Popbitch, and Maxim.
Time to invest… In a new pair of pants.
Up there as one of the best videogame events I’ve ever attended
– Neil Gorton, True Gits / Maxim