EA's Saboteur Facebook Game Promotes More Than Entertains

EA is promoting Saboteur, one of their newest console titles, by creating a Facebook quiz application that involves videos and content from the game. The application isn’t a full-fledged game, but does have a quiz element and leaderboards to compete with friends. There are also prizes to the top players, including an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas.

The game basically asks you to identify details from promotional videos or photos from the Saboteur console game. One video shows the main character walking through a cabaret, and after the video has finished, the player is asked ‘How did Devlin greet the dancers?’. The player must choose from four options, and once they do, they scores points if they picked the correct answer. Once the first round of six questions is completed, you can post your score to the leaderboard or play again, with new sequences and questions.

This isn’t the first time EA has created an advertising-based game on Facebook. Before acquiring Playfish, there were several Facebook applications that were only based on promoting console games. These included EA Sports World and Madden IQ, which had a lot of media surrounding the console titles but no real gameplay to speak of. The applications never really seemed to catch any serious buzz, and most stayed below 10,000 MAU. That said, EA has learned the effectiveness of using social media banner networks like Offerpal or AdParlor, and could drive traffic to the applications if they so desired.

That said, games like these are not meant to be anything but promotions, and it certainly provides a more innovative experience than simply watching a video trailer. You begin to get acquainted with the characters, the art style, the setting and the music, and it certainly generates excitement for the game.

Interesting note was that the game didn’t let me enter when using the Google Chrome browser, and I was stuck at the “verify your age” screen. The age pop-up didn’t appear, and if I was a casual player I certainly why I couldn’t proceed into the game. Of course, I don’t know if too many Google Chrome users would be surprised that a site didn’t work in their browser.