After the torrent of press and hype followed by the unbelievable backlash of Homefront, it seems like America 2049 could not have come at a more inconvenient time. As vague as the teaser trailer is, the similarities are fairly blatant. The differences, however, are much more intriguing. Where did this video come from? Who is behind it? We'll discuss what we have managed to find out so far.
There's been no real information released about the publication America 2049. Everything related has focused on the lore of the game. It has been noted that there are a few tags on the trailer at The Escapist which peg Fuel Change, a marketing firm, as the developer and publisher. There is no sign of the title on Fuel Change's website as of this post, but being a clear product of viral marketing, traces of real world connections could shatter the illusion. Supporting this claim, several comment threads and forums-goers have happened upon the following Google Cache:
Stay tuned for the launch of "America 2049", a groundbreaking human rights transmedia game featuring Margaret Cho, Harold Perrineau, Anthony Rapp and more. Presented by Breakthrough.tv and with high-profile artist partner by Fuel.
You might also recognize a few other famous film and television actors mixed in there, including Cherry Jones of 24 fame and Victor Garber from Alias.
Transmedia is a buzzword commonly associated with viral marketing and ARGs (alternate reality games), which America 2049 seems to be. The official site is located at America2049.com and features a countdown that ends in a little over 10 days, which gives us until March 4th to figure out exactly what we're looking at. After watching the teaser trailer, the story unfolds further through a series of websites that have a common bond. Here's the trailer:
A good starting point after watching the trailer would be heading over to Zooglio, the Google knock-off search portal that contain information on the terrorist organization Divided We Fall and their opposition, the Council of American Heritage. Beyond the two organizations that will certainly play the lead roles in the transmedia game, there are websites for both the "industry leader in the innovative science of sociopharmacology," SerennCo, and SMRTTid, a company that implants chips in American citizens to keep them safe...while keeping an eye on them as well. Hello 1984.
Despite some leads in one direction or another, no one seems to know exactly what America 2049 is going to become. The last trace of FMV in video games remains firmly planted in the Command & Conquer series. Could this somehow be related? Unlikely, but hopefully more will be revealed once the countdown timer hits 0. Until then, speculate away.