GoBZRK is a digital experience released by The Shadow Gang in August 2011. It was developed to pair with the young adult novel series by Michael Grant which is entitled BRZRK. It may be accessed through www.gobzrk.com.
BZRK is a novel with a setting of the near future. It is about a war to control the human mind. Conjoined twins wanted to turn the world into a vision of utopia with no hunger, no conflict, and no wars, but there is no free will. Eventually, a group of rebel teens emerged who called themselves BZRK who fought their rights to be human. What’s interesting is that the war occurred on a nano-level, wherein the battleground is the human brain.
The multi-platformed goBZRK gained a lot of followers with almost 125,000 in number. Video views rised as high as 245,000 and almost 100,000 downloaded the app. Basically, it featured scripted videos, an online social game, and interactive comic books. The success of this platform led BRZRK to be turned into a major movie with Sony Pictures and Sam Raimi, a famous producer-director.
Preloaded and run from a single platform, the developers were able to focus more on content rather than technology. It was made available in mobile, tablets, and computers, especially in the international arena. This allowed the platform to be followed anywhere, anytime.
The goBZRK experience included four fully functional websites with over 78 minutes of video and 20 minutes of audio recordings including a pirate radio station. It features 8 comic books with illustrations complete with hidden links and even Easter eggs. Photographic clues were given and even fabricated newspaper articles which even had more clues, drawings, images, and artifacts directly lifted from the novel. Indeed, the novel came to life with goBZRK.
The first thing that users have to do is to register. Later on, everything that they do in goBZRK corresponds to rewards such as virtual currency, goods, and badges. Soon enough, goBZRK was able to form a community of its own. It started to grow as word of mouth traveled among people who invited their friends to try the goBZRK experience too.
Since the platform was based on a novel, even the BZRK characters were brought to life and even reached out to the users and players of goBZRK. It is also interesting that playing the game sometimes required interaction with others. For example, working in groups is necessary to solve puzzles or discover new content. This kept a lot of users interested but the gaming experience had to end in February. As of now, only content is accessible.
Ultimately, goBZRK gave the audience a sense of experience they would not have found anywhere else. It served as their window to the world, being able to interact with various people all over the globe. It also provided e-commerce opportunity for the novel itself. GoBZRK sold apps, games, and books which kept the audience interested from time to time. It also paved way for brand integration such as Nissan. The platform was made available to almost 14 countries and almost 50% of the investment returned in a matter of 5 months.