QR codes have recently begun to infiltrate mainstream video games as a new way to engage players and change the user experience.
In 2009 Borderlands started with simple QR Codes that contained text messages and more recently Nintendo allows players to export their Mii character as a QR Code that can be scanned into any other 3DS. However the biggest success to date has been with THQ’s Homefront where ten codes (video below) were hidden throughout the game to unlock exclusive video and wallpaper.
Without any marketing or promotion before the game’s release Homefront had over 30,000 QR Code scans in the first 2 days! So far there been 50,000 QR Code scans, 30,000 wallpaper downloads and 18,000 video views. Among players who engaged with the QR Codes the iPhone was the most popular device used to scan the codes.
The videos enhance the game by providing background to the particular game environment the player is currently visiting. For example when exploring a camp players can overhear coughing coming from tents. Then they discover a QR Code that plays a governmental emergency broadcast video explaining a national flu epidemic. Later while in an extremist’s garage a QR Code links to a propaganda music video.
Augme Technologies provided the Homefront QR Codes and mobile marketing platform.