Bethesda Softworks

Creating a buzz for Dishonored.

Product Launch • 360 Campaign • Content Series

How do you expand the story of a story-driven game?

Background

Dishonored is an action-adventure game that’s all about story and atmosphere: designers modeled the town of Dunwall after London in the early 1900s, and the game’s steampunk-inspired mood is gritty and dark.

As one of Bethesda’s most-anticipated titles, the game publisher was looking for an experience that would create a buzz and get players excited about the game prior to launch.

The approach to the prequel films was to give context to the dystopian world of Dishonored and establish a backstory.

Brian Carley
Creative Lead, East Region • Razorfish

Journey

We collaborated with animation studio Psyop to create three “prequel” short films with a unique look and feel. Inspired by the aesthetic of the game and the life of Corvo, the game’s protagonist, we created shorts with a hand-drawn twist that illustrated the dark, oppressive feel of the game’s world.

These videos were the centerpiece of a wide-ranging 360 launch campaign that included print and social, as well as a Rat Assassin mobile game we designed, built, and released that was quickly in the top 10 most downloaded games on the app store.

We had to create desire for a new IP, in an over-saturated market. We started by really putting the interests of the player first.

Brian Carley
Creative Lead, East Region • Razorfish

Outcomes

The video series generated almost a million views on YouTube and was widely praised in video game publications and blogs. The buzz from the campaign helped Dishonored become the best selling new game that year.

  • 850K+ views on YouTube
  • 460K+ units sold in week 1
  • Clio Awards, Branded Entertainment and Content
    3 Gold Awards

What are people saying?

  • ahhh these videos give me goosebumps! I want this game soooo bad

    @catcherboy96
  • This is so freaking well done...the voice, music, sound effects, animation. so pumped.

    @iPsyxx
  • Bethesda, your writers are freaking geniuses. The stories they weave are amazing.

    @InsertCleverName

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