The folks over at Spike TV must be thrilled with how successful their attempts to generate buzz for their upcoming Video game Awards are turning out to be. We've already told you about the zombie-themed images placed inside some of their latest ads, and BioWare managed to get rumors circling their own reveal at the show with a few seconds of video alone.
But the latest two VGA trailers feature something else: QR Codes that are quickly flashed on screen, which reveal URLs when decoded. Heading to the sites given doesn't reveal much, but are starting to paint a delightfully terrifying picture.
The first QR code can be found in the same video that revealed the initial 'Infected' warning. Decoding that QR provides a URL that leads to a site featuring nothing more than the words 'Look Closer' and 'Murder.' In itself, this message doesn't mean a whole lot.
BioWare's QRs led to a site for the British Secret Intelligence Service, which will give fans and conspiracy theorists plenty to work with. But 'murder?' There will be plenty of violent games on display at the VGAs, but the newest trailer features yet another code, which continues the cryptic message.
A new trailer has been released showing many of the same clips from previous ads, along with a brand new QR and yet another zombie-themed still image:
It's still unclear whether these infection images are in reference to an upcoming announcement regarding Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil 6, or that rumored Resident Evil multiplayer project in the works. Whether the images and the codes are connected is still unclear, but the two codes have started to deliver a distinct message.
The second QR code points viewers to a site nearly identical to the previous, but with one notable exception. Put the two together, and it would seem we have 2/3 of a complete message:
Clearly we're being ordered to murder something, but your guess is as good as ours at this point. The first zombie image features a '1 of 3' in the bottom corner, and the second predictably contains a '2 of 3' so it's hard to think that these aren't connected.
Could the announcement really be the opportunity to take on our friends in a new Resident Evil multiplayer title? Perhaps the better question would be whether Spike TV thinks it would be a good idea to tell fans to 'Murder Your Friends.'
It looks like we have at least one more advertisement to wait for before we can decipher the larger message, but fans of viral marketing must be squealing with delight with all of the various campaigns being organized around the VGAs.
We'd love to hear any theories you have concerning the mystery project(s), and as always we'll keep you posted as more details emerge.
Spike TV's Video Game Awards will be airing, chock full of exclusive announcements, on December 11th, 2010.
[Update: Activision has launched a teaser site for 'Murder Your Maker,' an unnamed, mystery project. The site is definitely of a darker, brooding tone, but no projects under that name are currently in production at Activision. The site also features the date of December 11th, 2010 so the announcement at the Spike TV VGAs is still expected.
As Kotaku reports, An Activision game entitled Bloodhunt was given a "strong violence" warning by the Australian Office of Film and Literature, so perhaps this is the same project, either with a new name or a new tagline. There's been no word on the project since the rating was revealed, so this may or may not be connected.]