New Video Game Prototype Creating Compelling Custom Trailers with Facebook Connect

Prototype, a new game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 set to launch June 9th, has utilized Facebook Connect in one of the most innovative and clever ways since the technology became available. When you visit, and you authorize the site to connect with your Facebook account, you will be served up a personalized trailer previewing the game, which grabs pictures and basic profile information from your Facebook profile.

The game’s main character, Alex Mercer, is a shapeshifter — someone who can assume the form of another being or animal. As he notes in the preview, he can “become anyone.”

In the trailer, that anyone is you.

As Mercer narrates his story, set amidst a backdrop of a reddened and gray New York City, pictures of you and your friends come across the screen as he talks about consuming identities and memories. Your profile information, such as where you’re from or what you do, flash up on the screen in fluttering images.

Even if you’re not heavily into video games, you should find this trailer compelling. Intense music and disorienting glimpses into familiar information contained in your Facebook profile makes the trailer engaging, if not eerie. By the end of it, I felt like I’d be going to see this story in theaters, begging the question if other areas of the entertainment business couldn’t learn something from this Connect implementation.

After you complete the trailer, you will be asked a couple questions about the game, which enters you into a contest to win an Xbox and free Prototype games. According to the site, you must enable Facebook Connect in order to participate in the contest. Of course, in typical Connect fashion, the game can then publish information into your News Feed that will help increase the game’s presence with your Facebook friends.

This implementation of Connect has stirred interest at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) down in Los Angeles, where making games more social (via Facebook) has the been the topic of many conversations and announcements.  Monday, Microsoft announced that Xbox Live, an online service based on the popular console, will integrate with Facebook Connect. Yesterday, a similar announcement followed for the Nintendo DSi.


The trailer crashed my browser the first time, but you should expect some technical glitches when companies try something this innovative and on the bleeding edge. In many ways, this use of Connect has everything you want: Personalized experience for the user, the always-attractive use of prizes and contests, and the ability to increase the awareness of the product by reaching more users (their Facebook friends). We’ll be watching to see if more companies in the entertainment space mimic Prototype’s efforts here.

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