Walmart is a supply drop in new 'Jurassic World' AR game
- NBCUniversal debuted the mobile game "Jurassic World Alive" as part of the movie studio's promotion for the "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" premiere on June 22. The game uses augmented reality (AR) imagery and location-based technology to let players overlay digital dinosaurs onto their real surroundings through a smartphone, according to VentureBeat.
- The game uses the new Google Maps application programming interface (API) to let players find virtual dinosaurs and items on a map and battle other players in real time. After tapping an on-screen creature, players can use a virtual drone to shoot darts at the prehistoric beast to collect its DNA. That genetic material is used to unlock and later genetically modify dinosaurs in a lab.
- Walmart and AMC Theatres will promote the game's launch by offering players more ways to unlock game content from June 6 to July 31. Users can access in-game rewards by visiting select stores and theaters and posting a photo on social media with the hashtag #JWUnleashed. Those opening the game inside participating Walmart stores can access a Walmart supply drop.
NBCUniversal has a history of creating mobile game tie-ins for movies, including the reboot of the "Jurassic Park" series. "Jurassic World: The Game" was a hit mobile game that accompanied the release of "Jurassic World" in 2015. This time around, the game adds AR features that are more immersive for players while also encouraging them to perform actions in the real world, such as going to a Walmart or AMC location to unlock more virtual rewards. Once in the stores, players may be more likely to make a purchase, adding an enticing sales element for the companies.
The AR feature urges people to take videos and pictures to post on social media, enhancing the publicity value of the game with earned media and potential boosted reach. Unlike the hit "Pokemon Go," game developer Ludia's "Jurassic World: Alive" game also has skill-based features like real-time arena battles that pit players against each other, adding to the amount of time people spend with the content and, thus, brand.
Expectations are high for the movie's sales, especially after "Jurassic World" in 2015 had a domestic box office take of $652 million and foreign receipts of $1 billion, per Box Office Mojo. The mobile game aims to drum up excitement just ahead of the movie's premiere and drive sales.
Meanwhile, 2018 is shaping up as the year of AR, as the technology continues to find its way into movie promotions through mobile game tie-ins and in-theater activations. Sony earlier this year teased the "Ghostbusters World" game that let players catch virtual ghosts. Other examples include AMC's "The Walking Dead: Our World" and Warner Bros. Interactive's "Harry Potter: Wizards Unite." Theater chain Regal Entertainment recently partnered with Moviebill, a print publication similar to the classic Playbill, that moviegoers could scan with a smartphone to activate an AR experience. One million copies of Moviebill were distributed at Regal theaters with the release of "The Avengers: Infinity War" in April, and the experience produced 56 million impressions.