Friday, July 24, 2009

SDCC Report: Tron Legacy P.R. Goes All-Out

I am still awe-struck by this. Last night in San Diego, Disney pretty much pwn'ed James Cameron and his little Avatar with an amazingly geekified spectacle promoting Tron Legacy. You must — I repeat — you must watch these three clips:

The Unveiling

Inside Flynn's Arcade

Lightcycle, Anyone?

I worked in the video game industry for nearly five years and paid witness to dozens and dozens of awesome P.R. events, some of them just extraordinary in scope (at one point I should probably blog about some of them), but I have to say from a hype-building standpoint I'm not sure I've ever seen anything more awesome than the above. And I'm not even a big Tron fan. Yeah I owned Tron Deadly Discs on Intellivision (fun game actually) and I played my fair share of the coin-ops but that's about it.

Tron Deadly Discs

Tron Coin-Op

Disney recreated Flynn's Arcade complete with all of the games and even an air hockey table. They even programmed and assembled full-sized, fully-working Space Paranoids arcade machines for this... like the one seen in the original film! On top of that, Disney built a full-size lightcycle for god's sake! And they did it all to promote the sequel to a movie that — quite honestly, didn't perform all that well back in the day. If there were any questions, Disney is clearly serious about this franchise.

And yeah, before you say it, I agree that hype does not necessarily equal greatness (in most cases it does not), but you would have to concede Disney is really playing to the geek community here. And I think that's cool.

Cameron must be secretly dying inside right about now. I know I would be.

Thanks to Ain't It Cool News for the clips

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