Public Relations

Capcom leverages horrific London escape the room experience to promote Resident Evil 7


By John McCarthy | Media editor

January 23, 2017 | 4 min read

To celebrate the impending return of the Resident Evil video game franchise, a zombie-heavy, horror survival game that made its name on the PlayStation, publisher Capcom called for the rollout of Escape the Room-like experiences that ape the fear players suffer in the game.

The experience also ran in London's Shoreditch, the Capcom team was tasked with creating a unique experience capable of emulating the game series' atmosphere while generating buzz – especially among influencers and the media.

The Drum spoke to Capcom's Laura Skelly (PR manager) and Antoine Molant (marketing director) on what it was like setting up an real life experience briefed with the unenviable task of emulating a video game.

Resident Evil 7 experiential image

Resident Evil 7 experiential image

Resident Evil escape room

Skelly said the team looked to transpose the “survival horror element of the game into an escape room style event… there’s a huge popularity for escape rooms at the moment and we thought Resident Evil 7 would be a perfect fit for that type of experiential event”.

Molant was looking to “trigger an emotional answer” to the experience – “being scared to open a door, not knowing what's behind,” and similar sensations of trepidation and anxiety. Building on this emotional base was also exploration and puzzle solving, prominent tasks in game. “Being able to stick to the game atmosphere and gameplay as much as possible. It was also a format allowing us to create a fully bespoke experience at our desired location.”

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Resident Evil 7 expereince image 2

On using experiential experiences to push video games, Skelly said: “I think we’re one of the only video games publishers to have attempted to create something like this and on this scale too, so to be able to offer the chance for Resident Evil fans to step into the game without picking up a controller is definitely a unique experience.

“There’s been a few people too terrified to go down the first staircase – it’s that fear of not knowing what’s down there and what’s going to happen that gets you as you enter."

Beyond the mainstream media’s presence and following headlines, influencers were also invited to participate. On this, Molant, said: “Influencers are a voice to be reckoned with when it comes to promoting games in general. Their content is different than traditional media so it was important we could cover both areas.”

One takeaway the agency had from the activity was to drill the experience until a seamless bit of world building helps immerse players. Also, free coffee for longer-than-expected queues also does not go amiss.

Watch the experience reveal trailer below.

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