Sims3 Marketing Game — Sim to Win

Over the month of November we created and ran a nation-wide, college
campus-based promotional game for the launch of Electronic Arts’ Sims3
Expansion pack, called Sim to Win. We were fortunate enough to work
again with an energetic and trusting marketing team from Electronic
Arts, led by the lovely Summer Bradley.

20 universities fielded a grand total of 412 teams, who jostled for
position over several weeks, staging CRAZY creative video missions,
sleuthing for online clues, and generally procrastinating on the
mid-term front. The relatively small teams (mostly1-3 players) actively
completed missions for 2 weeks, and followed that up with 2 additional
weeks of online voting that kept the scores fluctuating. Teams shared
links to their missions via Facebook and Twitter — to the tune of over
25,000 votes cast. In the end, 20 lucky collegians claimed their
rightful spoils — shiny new laptops!

Our writers came up with top-notch Sims3-related mission content, and
used a host of on-line tools (Google Earth, Streetview, Facebook,
Twitter, etc) to enhance the overall web scavenger hunt experience. As
with any product we create, there was a health dose of real-life play,
and that’s where the wheat got separated from the chaff, talent-wise.
One submission we really like was this:

The challenge below asked teams to create their own Sims avatar, but give the game controller to their disgruntled ex-bf/gf.

Sim to Win was a success on many fronts. It delivered
numbers/eyeballs/impressions to the tune of:

50K pageviews
27K votes
Average of 2.5 minutes spent on the ‘best of’ gallery

The goal of the game was to drum up excitement about Sims3 and to
encourage active Sims devotees and non-gamers alike to experience and
revel in Sims3. We got a nice mix of hardcore Simmers and newbies and
we’re quite certain the game gave a fresh perspective on a first-person
pc game. The game content was shared far past the 1,000 or so players,
and what got communicated was pretty simple: people having a ton of
fun with a game about a game.

The game engine that Finn built worked like a Swiss watch. Alli, Ian W and yours truly
spent untold hours creating fake Facebook profiles, scouring photos of
campuses and concocting hugely entertaining challenges that the teams
digested at a 67% success rate.

For any ongoing game (longer than a few hours) you run the risk of
disincentivizing (if that is indeed a word) the late-comers. When you
see that you’re already 500 points behind, you’re more likely to click
away. With this in mind, we designed the game so that ‘late’ teams could
complete all the prior missions retroactively. This helped a lot with
retention over the course of the 2 weeks.

Participating schools were:

University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Colorado
University of Connecticut
University of Florida
Florida State University
University of Georgia
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Maryland
Michigan State
University of Nebraska
University of Oklahoma
Penn State
Purdue University
Syracuse University
Virginia Tech

Don’t you want to know which school was the most creative/smartest?
Maybe it’s something they put in the swampwater, or the
rubbing-of-elbows with all the national champion athletes, but in our
humble opinion, the University of Florida earned the distinction of

Thanks to everyone who helped make this game a big success!

    A Blog About A Blog!

    Check it out! We’ve been blogged about!

    In city where we travel, we hire local actors to plant in our games.
    Just last week, we ran an awesome Undercover Game at the Mall of
    America, and one of our actors was the charming Michael Venske.
    Unbeknownst to us, he blogged about us after the game! Here’s what he

    …an open letter to corporate america

    Dear Head Honchos:

    Are you looking for a way to bring unity and increased performance to a
    group of your employees that may be fearful about their employment due
    to America’s tough economic state? Do you want more options for
    “corporate entertainment” than just an afternoon of skits in the
    boardroom making fun of Bob from accounting? Do you want to get
    involved and be apart of your team again?

    If you answered “yes” to ANY of the questions above, then The Go Game is
    your alternative to corporate entertainment that won’t just waste an
    hour after lunch!

    As an actor, I’ve worked with The Go Game on missions for Target and
    Best Buy. In addiction to character work (acting), part of my job is to
    ensure all members of the team are participating. Using my skills as
    an educator and improviser, I’m able to quickly note which team members
    aren’t participating, get them involved immediately, and continue to
    unite your employees as being members of the same team.

    The best part of The Go Game, in addition to genuinely bringing you and
    your employees together, is that the game’s entertaining, educational,
    and fun! You’re winning in multiple ways with The Go Game!


    Michael Venske

    Thanks Michael!!