Rokkan leads integrated brand and marketing duties for Bethesda's Dishonored - one of the most highly awarded and critically acclaimed AAA titles of 2012.
At it’s launch, Metacritic awarded Dishonored a 91 out of 100—an almost legendary feat for a new IP.
Bethesda had an interesting challenge leading up to the release of its highly anticipated AAA title, Dishonored. The game, which was a completely new IP in an industry dominated by First Person Shooters, needed to cut through the cluttered category and attract the attention of hardcore gamers.
ROKKAN, an agency with a deep legacy in the gaming space, was tapped by Bethesda to create and lead a fully integrated 360° campaign to introduce the new game to the masses.
The task was simple: get gamers excited about Dishonored, and turn this never-before-seen title into a candidate for “Game of The Year.”
The “Revenge Solves Everything” campaign encompassed all sides of the marketing spectrum: from key art and box art design, to a suite of themed microsites, dramatic trailers, and custom video content, and out of home advertising as well. The agency also created a mobile game called Rat Assassin to tie the whole experience together.
The campaign kicked off with the leak of the epic cinematic trailer and launch of the first of our digital efforts, Dishonored.com, which ignited a groundswell of buzz and anticipation throughout the blogosphere and online gaming communities.
Housed on Dishonored.com were several “Path to Revenge” teaser experiences. The first, called Revenge Solves Everything, introduced players to the assassin’s mask and allowed them to closely explore its design and make-up. Weapons of Revenge gave fans a glimpse of one of the game’s unique weapons, allowing them to test it out with a click of their mouse, slaying as many plagued rats as they could.
The final Path to Revenge piece was Dishonored’s mobile debut: ‘ Rat Assassin,’ a slicing game for iOS that parodied popular ‘samurai’ games like Fruit Ninja. Rat Assassin has nearly 800 beaming customer reviews in Apple’s App Store and shot to the Top 10 in the action game category. The game generated hundreds of thousands of downloads, and increased anticipation for Dishonored’s launch, adding a fun, addictive element to the “Revenge Solves Everything” campaign arsenal.
The creation of original video content played a major role in the campaign. From cinematic and gameplay trailers to in-depth developer documentaries with Arkane Studios, the content we created garnered over 13 million organic views and immersed fans in the dystopian, steam-punk-inspired tone of the world of Dishonored. No video is complete without a soundtrack, so we worked with COPILOT to create an original track for Dishonored called ‘The Drunken Whaler,’ a twist on an old Irish folk song. The song was featured in the acclaimed E3 trailer and had fans demanding for its official release. It even spawned a remix competition that took over the Bethesda blog and YouTube.
To foster a cult following around Dishonored, we produced critically acclaimed animated short films with creative powerhouse Psyop, deepening the folklore and back-story surrounding the characters and storyline of the game. The engrossing ‘Tales From Dunwall’ were scored by Daniel Licht (Dexter) and narrated by Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass), and were broken up into three parts: “ The Awakening,” “ The Hand that Feeds,” and “ In the Mind of Madness.”
After releasing the short films, anticipation for the game’s release reached a fever pitch. The conversations from the gaming community fed widespread media coverage that stretched from trades and blogs to mainstream outlets. The chatter praised the artistry and unique animation style of the films, and had fans clamoring for Dishonored’s in-store launch.
The “Revenge Solves Everything” campaign took an unknown title and made it top of mind for gamers everywhere. The global debut on October 9, 2012 cemented Dishonored as the largest new-IP launch of the year, and a widely acclaimed ‘Game of the Year’ contender that has garnered over 50 awards and raving reviews from the gaming community.
In the end, the campaign re-defined game marketing. ROKKAN took a completely unknown title, and turned it into one of the most-talked-about games of the year.
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Creative, Strategy, UX, Development, Public Relations