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Secret Lewis finale: Kudos to the nDreams team

By on November 11, 2010

Warning: I’m about to praise nDreams for a successful Alternative Reality Game. I sit on the board of nDreams.

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Secret Lewis has been running since March 2010, and has been played by over 600,000 people. It started from a challenging brief: how to make a game that promoted Reebok, was widely accessible, starred Lewis Hamilton and didn’t include cars.

So Lewis Hamilton, the cat-burglar’s cat-burglar was born.

It’s been a fabulous example of how brands, talent and gameplay can come together to make a successful online gaming experience.

Kudos to Patrick O’Luanaigh, David Varela, Matt Willifer and the rest of the nDreams team.

November 10th 2010: Today, Lewis Hamilton made his first appearance on the silver-screen to announce his retirement as an international undercover agent. To celebrate the conclusion of Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life, Reebok staged an event that stretched from the UK to Abu Dhabi.

One hundred lucky fans were invited to an exclusive London premiere of the film telling the story of the game, before joining a live hunt for the final piece of the puzzle that was hidden in the city.

Since Reebok launched the cutting-edge alternate reality game (ARG) eight months ago, over 637,000 players from over 154 countries have taken part. They’ve worked together to solve puzzles and complete tests online, on mobiles and in the real world. Live events have taken place across the globe including tasks in Spain, Lebanon, Malaysia and the UK.

Describing his role in the game, Lewis Hamilton said; “Working on Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life with Reebok has been a great experience. It’s been a massive project and I’ve met people all over the world who’ve been involved. I’ve enjoyed playing a secret agent in the game and it’s a different way to put my ZigTechs through their paces. It is a shame to have to bring it to an end, after working on such an exciting project”.

Developed by Reebok and nDreams, Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life is a world first. It is the only time a global sport star has featured as the central character in a game of this kind. The storyline for each episode showcases a new Reebok technology such as RunTone or ZigTech.

Tonight, following the premiere of a specially created short-film that tells the story of the game, Lewis revealed the code to an invited audience at London’s Apollo cinema. The video message came directly from his training base in Abu Dhabi.

That code kick-started the final live event of the game as audience members left the cinema to be the first to reach the safe on London’s Carnaby Street, crack the code and secure the once-in-a-lifetime prize of a Reebok training session with Lewis.

Says Uli Becker, Global President of Reebok; “Lewis Hamilton: Secret Life has been a fun and innovative project for Reebok. It’s an imaginative way for us to showcase how the new Reebok technologies, ZigTech and Runtone, are helping Lewis in his rigorous training regime. We’ve really enjoyed giving fans the chance to directly engage with this story and the secret life of one of our world-class athletes.”

The game incorporates a maze of fictional websites and characters as well as specially created online games. To find out more just go to www.secretlewis.com where you can see what players have been up to.

About Reebok

Reebok International Ltd., headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, is a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of sports, fitness and casual footwear, apparel and equipment. A subsidiary of the adidas Group, the company operates under the multiple divisions of the Reebok brand, Reebok-CCM Hockey and the Sports Licensed Division. For more information, visit Reebok at www.reebok.com.

About nDreams

nDreams is an independent developer/digital publisher based in Farnborough, UK. It creates and publishes games across a range of emerging platforms, specializing in digital distribution. Projects include alternate reality games, Facebook and iPhone titles, plus several projects in the PlayStation Home virtual world. nDreams was nominated for Best New Studio in the 2009 Develop Awards, and has won several awards for its work in PlayStation Home, including for the alternate reality game ‘Xi’, which received nearly 5 million visits in three months. www.ndreams.com

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: thecurveonline.com