Mar 6, 2019

Beyond the game: Expanding the Universe of The Division

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A game is a universe of narratives, characters, and stories that go beyond the gameplay.

With the launch of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2  just around the corner,  we sat down with Massive’s Transmedia Coordinator Jacob Kroon to talk about the game’s transmedia strategy, how to engage fans and players, and Tommy the Teddy Bear.

T-shirts, mugs, caps, and key chains with teddy bears lie in boxes under Jacob Kroon’s desk. Next to his screen is a bigger version of the teddy on the key chain.

“It’s Tommy the Teddy Bear,” explains Jacob as he pats the fluffy plush on the head. “He’s become quite the office favorite.”

 

Jacob works as Transmedia Coordinator for Tom Clancy’s The Division. He came to Massive about eight months ago, drawn to the unique job description and the opportunity to work closer to production.

“I hadn’t seen a lot of game studios working with transmedia in that way before, so it felt very inspiring that Ubisoft and Massive found it to be a strategic point of interest.”

An ever changing industry

In his daily work, Jacob’s job involves expanding and building the world of The Division through different types of media and products.

“We work in an ever changing industry where we expect more experiences related to our favorite games and brands. Many are still mainly interested in the game, but growing numbers are also interested in engaging with the universe as a whole – whether it be through cosplaying, streaming, collecting, or co-creation. You don’t just play the game on your own; you experience it together with other people.”

In preparation for the launch of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on March 15, Jacob has set up a transmedia strategy, which will refine the brand across a variety of media, and also establish The Division as an entertainment brand

But how does one go about establishing a game as an entertainment brand through transmedia?

Meaningful experiences are key

According to Jacob, it all comes down to inviting key partners to create new and meaningful experiences together with us and the game, as well as sharing the fun and the opportunities of the “amazing, yet relatable world” that has been created with The Division.

“But it’s equally important to be respectful of not only the lore and the brand, but also our fans. Any new product has to resonate with the audience, otherwise you’re on the wrong path. And with anything you do, there is always a story to tell, even for apparel and products that you would not intuitively link to a narrative. For example, in-game brands like Kerman Coffee have proven very popular.”

One of Jacob’s favorite projects so far has been The Division comics, and in particular, working with Dark Horse Comics has been a childhood dream come true.

“But I would also love to work on a The Division board game someday. The plan is to make pretty much everything our fans want – and things they don’t know that they want yet!” he says glancing at the brown bear on his desk.

“I mean, who doesn’t love Tommy the Teddy Bear?”

  • Interested in playingThe Division 2? Pre-order the game here!
  • Check out The Division 2 merch on Ubistore.
  • Pre-order the limited edition The Division 2 glasses here.
  • Get a unique insight into the world of The Division 2 – check out the Lore book.
  • Interested in the Dark Horse Comic Books? You can pre-order them here.
  • Immerse yourself into the post-pandemic world of The Division 2, pre-order the book here.
  • And don’t forget to have a look at Difuzed’s collection of t-shirts, caps, wallets, and hoodies!

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