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  Podcast-driven ARG creates a new scalable model for fan value
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[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource Games Press.]

Forever Has Fallen is a new type of ARG experience set in the ‘near-future.’ Fans listen to podcast episodes which contain a clue, such as a website or mobile number. Fans chase the clue as Bounty Hunters in a vast storyworld made of digital escape rooms, extra content, Easter eggs and character interaction. 

The formula has been under development for three years to solve typical issues with ARGs; lack of scale, repeatability, accessibility and monetisation beyond ‘hard core’ ARG players. 

As gaming reviewer John Walker from Buried Treasure points out about ARGs, “…generally, you have to have worked at Bletchley Park (home of military code cracking) to be able to get past the first few stages. Which is why I’m rather intrigued by Forever Has Fallen, a podcast-driven ARG that is designed to be much more accessible.”

A major difference to previous ARGs is the story driven experience using podcast episodes to engage fans with characters and plot twists. Then delivering an ARG experience that is fun, scalable and repeatable. The purpose is to create a shared experience for the community of fans, so they can collaborate and solve challenges together. (This is NOT a choose your own adventure).

The storyline takes you on the hunt for Karl-Axel Mattiasson, a tech billionaire who created digital immortality for the masses. His company, The Forever Social is ruined, with the company accounts looted and proprietary technology The Forever Engine destroyed. The only person who could clear his name, the company CTO, is brutally murdered. Framed for these crimes, Karl-Axel is running for his life, hunted by a psychotic assassin and the might of the US intelligence services…

When it comes to monetisation, Forever Has Fallen has opted to generate exceptional fan value, to avoid the need for advertising revenue. “I don’t want ads to rob people of an awesome experience. So our focus has been to delight fans by generating fun, unexpected experiences that are worth far more than $3.99 per episode, which will be the maximum asking price once we finish Kick Starter,” says Kimon Lycos, founder and CEO. “Every episode is essentially a massive online escape room, where a website leads to an email, that leads to hidden content, that leads to another website, until you defeat all the challenges.”

Future development

  • Currently 5 episodes exist.
  • Kick Starter is planned for February 9, 2021 to complete Season 1 (10 Episodes)
  • Post Kick Starter, packages of digital escape rooms sold from as little as $2.50, up to $3.99 for an individual episode.