IGI 2: Covert Strike has received huge attention through its development from media and consumers alike thanks to the major enhancements in its game design, opponent intelligence and the introduction of multiplayer arenas. The game brings the world of Project IGI back to PC screens as the acclaimed mix of stealth and action continues the espionage theme of the original.
Consumer anticipation is high and Codemasters has been feeding the ever-increasing IGI 2 fanbase with online activity, including streaming video emails and downloadables.
Most impressive is the attention the game's multiplayer action has received - in the 'closed' multiplayer BetaTest, Codemasters anticipated around 15,000 downloads and users of the software; expectations were far exceed as over 100,000 players joined the closed test. The public release of the Multiplayer beta test code at the beginning of January saw over 250,000 downloads from consumers.
The all-important single-player demo was launched simultaneously online and in print on Jan 16, just under a month ahead of the game's release, with PC Gamer making it the star attraction on its cover CD and in its demo coverage. Online partnerships with mirrorsites globally saw the demo's online release go massive as Codemasters worked with over 200 gaming, fan and FPS websites to host and promote the demo.
Launch marketing mixes print advertising with heavy online activity. Print ads run across the major PC gaming magazines from launch through to April and the game is supported in consumer media via Maxim magazine and new men's lifestyle magazine Word.
Codemasters is also working Maxim's online presence to launch the game through promotions, editiorial, advertising spots and emails sent direct to its readers. Online partnerships further extend to PC Zone online and Games Domain with both sites hosting the demo and running promotions for the title.
Reviews will break at launch and anticipation is high with preview comments including PC Gamer calling it "Ultimate stealth gun action with lashings of sabotage, sniping and all-new SAS insights."
Chris Ryan, the SAS hero and best-selling author, is the game's military adviser and has consulted on how over 30 real-life weapons were featured in gameplay. His involvement has been extensive and interviews with Chris to promote the game are planned to feature in national, regional and broadcast media as part of the game's press drive.
Retail support includes promotions with high-street chains and further display materials, including posters and flyers from ISM.
Post-launch support includes Codemasters' sponsorship of Multiplay's i15 LAN event in March where up to 1000 gamers will compete in an IGI 2 tournament against Codemasters' own IGI 2 agents.
IGI 2: Covert Strike launches on February 21 for PC CD and carries a RRP of £34.99. More information on the game, including in-game footage videos and the playable demo, can be found on the dedicated web site at www.codemasters.com/igi