Saints Row (2022)

Deep Silver, Etch Play

Saints Row is a franchise synonymous with open-world crime hijinks, and in 2021, a reboot was imminent. Set to be unveiled with a trailer at Gamescom, the team at Deep Silver wanted to begin to tease that a new game was coming, and that it would be a re-imagining of the series.

Partnering with Etch Play, the team developed a teaser website, based on a graffiti-covered wall. The use of graffiti was intended to evoke the vandalism and gang rivalry prevalent in the games, and over time, the wall received daily graffiti tags - from gangs present in the fictional game world of Santo Ileso. Central to the artwork was a stylised depiction of the word "Rebooting", deliberately designed to be reminiscent of the Saints Row world.

Eager fans who signed up were also able to see the wall displayed under a blacklight, revealing more clues - a tagline for the new game, the date of Gamescom's Opening Night Live event, and the initials GK (standing for popular ONL Livestream host, Geoff Keighley). 

Over five days, more graffiti was added - a mix of artwork directly from the game, and original creations meant to evoke the correct tone. Combined, they gave some hints about which gangs were involved in the new game and what their aesthetic would be. When it came to the day of the reveal, the wall became host to a livestreamed video embed which allowed visitors to watch the live unveiling of the brand new Saints Row.

During the week, the website attracted over 100,000 visits, and alongside hints dropped on social media, the anticipated reboot was reported on in a number of news outlets including IGNGamespotMetroVideo Games Chronicle, and Forbes. It also attracted a lot of discussion on social media, particularly on Reddit and Twitter, where sleuths tried to deduce the meaning of the individual pieces of artwork.

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