Megan Gell
Jun 4, 2018

Case study: Tencent's immersive gaming experience

Tencent hosts a gaming experience for 3,000 fans in Shanghai while millions join online.

Winners of the tournament series.
Winners of the tournament series.
CrossFire is ranked as the world’s top first-person shooter (FPS) game, though competition is fierce. Publisher Tencent wanted to use the game’s ninth anniversary in August as an opportunity to rejuvenate CrossFire culture among its fans.

Tencent also wanted to strengthen CrossFire’s brand positioning, ‘Time to Fire!’, which challenges fans to break out of their routine and unleash the fighter within. This messaging was also designed to attract new online and offline audiences and convert them into fans.

For the main anniversary event, Tencent wanted to deliver an innovative, never-before-seen, hi-tech e-sport tournament in China for the world stage. It was held at Baoshan Shanghai Sports Center.

The ideas

George P. Johnson’s Beijing office was brought on to design and execute the event. They quickly decided to put fans at the heart of the story.

“We needed to pivot on the insight that fans play this game as a form of escape from reality,” said Joey Khor, executive creative director, George P. Johnson (GPJ). “Another powerful insight that helped drive our idea was that most people are intrigued by secrets, missions and conspiracy theories.

“The strategic approach was to create an opportunity for audiences to escape reality by blurring the lines between game life and real life and putting fans at the centre of the experience.”

GPJ crafted a storyline of a world in chaos due to leaked governments secrets, which took the audience on an intense journey from seeding pre-event calls to calls to action (CTAs).

“The intention was to make our audiences feel as though they are right in the centre of a global military catastrophe, and it is up to them collectively to make a difference as time runs out,” says Khor. “Creatively, our challenge was to generate content that was immersive yet thematically tied to the in-game environment and to CrossFire’s campaign.”

The insights

GPJ designed the CrossFire stage to evoke a public square, which then morphed into an in-game environment. The centre of the stage could be elevated and transformed to accommodate multiple scenarios such as the opening story, a performance by Hong Kong singer-songwriter G.E.M., various product launches and the all-important finals tournament.

“The stage was technically designed to be spectacular during the on-ground live event – and attract online viewing,” adds Khor.

The stage was also populated with live actors, and plenty of LED power to create changing environments. Four big boxes filled with LED panels at the side of the stage were used to create in-game elements such as cargo containers and wooden shelters.

“To create hype, we introduced the tournament players by hiding them in these boxes as they were elevated up from the stage,” says Khor. “We even had actors on wires being lowered onto the boxes to perform.”

The opening act made use of the LED panels as well as a stunning projection-mapping show on a translucent fabric. Live actors were brought on to perform a military coup. This was carefully planned
to accommodate online viewers as well.

Experiences were also set-up around the Center. Guests were encouraged to create bullet-time imagery — so named for its ability to slow time enough to show a moving bullet, as popularised by The Matrix — of themselves and their friends with an in-game environment as a backdrop. This served as a photo booth to create photos similar to the game, which were then shared via social media.

Cosplay actors representing characters from the game were also dotted throughout the experience area to interact with guests. “Not only were they wearing costumes, but we made sure the cosplayers immersed themselves into the characters,” says Khor.


Related Articles

Just Published

1 day ago

Purpose, laughs, and boppable tunes: Spikes jury ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Presidents and members of several Spikes Asia juries share the top trends they spotted in the jury Zoom rooms, with video examples.

1 day ago

Crash Course: How to tell engaging short-form stories

To round off a week of creativity-themed content during Spikes Asia X Campaign festival, this Crash Course provides useful tips on how to build story arcs and create thumb-stopping campaigns for short-form.

1 day ago

Lessons from Tesla, Apple and yoga (yes, yoga) in ...

SPIKES ASIA X CAMPAIGN: Creatives need to drive relevance for sustainable options, instead of virtue-signalling about sustainability, argues Gulshan Singh of FCB Interface.

1 day ago

Spikes Asia Awards 2021: Campaign's contenders 3

As the juries make their final selections ahead of the March 1 winners announcement, Campaign Asia-Pacific's editorial team has once again scoured through the 2021 shortlist to pick out the work we expect to win.