Electronic Arts and BioWare are taking marketing for Mass Effect 3 to new heights – literally. The team are strapping copies of the game to weather balloons and then launching them into the stratosphere, one week before the game’s official release.
Balloons will be launched in Paris, London, Berlin, New York, San Francisco and Las Vegas, each one coupled with a GPS tracking device. Once launched, gamers can follow the balloon’s progress (and inevitable return to earth) via the official Mass Effect website. Then it’s a simple matter of heading to the landing site, picking up the game and taking it home to play a week before anybody else.
Hopefully the games float gently back down through the sky and land somewhere nice and soft – we’re not sure quite how well a video game case would survive a fall from a great height (…and hopefully nobody’s standing underneath!).
This isn’t the first time that a gaming promotion has involved inflatable objects: Last GDC saw THQ releasing thousands of red balloons into the air above San Francisco. Unfortunately, many of the balloons landed in the middle of San Francisco bay, costing organisers a pretty penny in clean-up bills.