Xi was the world’s first console-based Alternate Reality Game, created in the UK by nDreams. Much of the story was told within Sony’s 3D online world, PlayStation Home, which could be accessed for free from any PlayStation 3.
“Home’s first real crowd-pleaser.”Edge
But large parts of the story took the players beyond Home – onto the internet and out into the real world too. With new puzzles, games and videos appearing day by day over three months, in five different languages, this was an epic game to produce.
My favourite live events included a series of fictional ‘job interviews’ conducted in a limousine driving round LA and New York; a video trail leading players around Paris; and a giant billboard puzzle that created a huge anagram across eight European cities.
“I love it.”Official PlayStation Magazine (Europe)
The players certainly made their contribution too, with well over half a million people taking part and generating tens of thousands of forum posts, hundreds of online videos, scores of fan-sites and many millions of page impressions on our websites and in our dozen Home spaces. I gave a talk about it all during the Power to the Pixel conference at the London Film Festival. The slideshow is posted here.
“Xi has arrived and there is no escape.”Videogamer.com
The player feedback was tremendous, the press liked it, nDreams was nominated for Develop’s prestigious ‘Best New Studio’ award and Sony were remarkably pleased too. I think it’s a darn fine piece of work.
The users of Home-focused website AlphaZone4.com voted Xi the ‘Best Event of 2009’ in both the European and US versions of Home.
“For a second your heart stops beating… ‘It’s just a game,’ you repeat to yourself. But you’re not logged into PlayStation Home at the moment. The game has invaded reality. It’s become the obsession of millions of PS3 owners across the world.”PlayStation: The Official Magazine (US)
“For the first time in months, I really, really want to be in PlayStation Home.”Kotaku