This week in game industry launches, the PlayStation 4 Pro and NES Classic Edition are headed to market and one game’s release got enough fanfare for an Empress. Dishonored 2 has been on the minds of fans ever since its announcement at E3 2015, and Bethesda has taken full advantage of opportunities to build hype leading to its November 11 launch date. One of the biggest means of getting fans excited was by revealing the game’s second protagonist, Emily Kaldwin, the now grown-up princess from the first game. Players are able to choose between playing as Emily, heiress to the throne, or Corvo, her father and protagonist from the first game. Bethesda has been using hashtags to encourage these options with #TeamEmily or #TeamCorvo on Twitter since the announcement.
The Fine Art Of Marketing
Developer Arkane Studios places tremendous emphasis on the design of its game world, taking inspiration not from other games, but works of art. As part of the character creation process, the team at Arkane contracted French artist, Lucie Minne to mold several physical clay busts, which (along with other concept pieces) were so impressive they actually went on display at the Art Ludique in Paris.
In May 2016, Bethesda announced a Dishonored tie-in comic miniseries and novel trilogy. The four-part comic series debuted in August and the first novel, The Corroded Man, was published in September—just in time to catch up with the series’ lore before jumping in again. Launching with the game on November 11 is an art book published by Dark Horse Comics. The Art of Dishonored 2 featured an art contest from the end of June to mid-July, with five winning participants being featured in the book. Fans were able to meet the artistic director for Dishonored 2, Sébastien Mitton during Paris Games Week and get their own signed copy of the book.
‘Fan’ The Flames Of Hype
During PAX Australia, fans could download a Dishonored 2 app to compete in a treasure hunt and win prizes throughout the show. In London and at MCM Comic Con, Bethesda hosted a scavenger hunt that sent fans (literally) running toward locations to find replica “bone runes,” the collectible in-game currency used to obtain and upgrade abilities. Along with the runes, fans were able to obtain invitations to the Karnaca Supper Club—an immersive three-course meal set in the world of Dishonored 2. The activation, hosted by GrubHub, was a huge success and those who attended showed up in cosplay and posted dozens of times across social media. One couple even got engaged at the dinner table!
— Dishonored (@dishonored) November 5, 2016
Pre-ordering Dishonored 2 grants players access to the full game a day early as well as a copy of Dishonored: Definitive Edition for free. Placing said order at GameStop also granted customers a limited edition, reversible mask. A special collector’s edition, perfect for generating influencer-made unboxing videos, features a replica of Corvo Attano’s signature mask, a replica of Emily Kaldwin’s ring, a Delilah Kaldwin propaganda poster and a metal collector’s edition case.
Leading up to the launch, Bethesda has hosted a number of live streams and character spotlight videos, as well as a chat on Reddit with game designer, Harvey Smith. Together with a new live-action trailer, Dishonored 2 fans are as ready as they’ll ever be to jump back into the action this Friday.