Sony Pictures and Spyglass Media Group launched the horror gaming metaverse ‘Survive Thanksgiving’ on Tuesday. The companies worked with AI and metaverse development firm MeetKai to create immersive experiences based on the upcoming horror flick ‘Thanksgiving.’
Thanksgiving is set in Plymouth, Massachusetts, the town where the Thanksgiving tradition was born. The slasher film, which is set to be released in U.S. theaters on Nov. 17, follows a mysterious killer named John Carver, who begins to terrorize the town during Thanksgiving.
The killer picks off residents one by one, and what begins as random revenge killings is soon revealed to be part of a larger, sinister holiday plan. Plymouth must uncover the killer and survive the holidays, or they will become guests at his twisted holiday dinner table.
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) October 31, 2023
Horror in the metaverse
A spokesperson for MeetKai told MetaNews that Survive Thanksgiving “seamlessly integrates the film’s storyline into the metaverse,” allowing players of the first-person point-of-view game to experience what he called “a new level of interactive horror.”
“Our metaverse technology offers an innovative approach to storytelling and a thrilling new way for audiences to engage with films, blurring the line between virtual reality and the silver screen,” said the spokesperson in a statement.
The game was launched on MeetKai’s metaverse platform, which is said to have over 50 million users worldwide. The Los Angeles-based outfit uses AI and so-called ‘digital twin’ tech to create realistic replicas of movie merchandise and products that can be bought in-game.
In the Survive Thanksgiving metaverse, users face a menacing killer terrorizing the erstwhile peaceful Plymouth with holiday-themed murders. Fans have the option to choose from three realistic 3D avatars to evade the town’s killer, Carver, as they explore six locations in the film.
“Users can search the halls of Plymouth High School, interact with frightened inhabitants on Main Street, overcome challenges, and uncover easter eggs along the way, unlocking new gamified player experiences,” the MeetKai spokesperson explained.
“To add to the user’s experience, the official film soundtrack is used to build anticipation and anxiety as they navigate through each space.”
Other interactive locations featured include a gym, a diner, a basement or dining room, as well as an axe-throwing game. The experience is accessible using virtual reality (VR) headsets and on any web browser on a mobile or desktop device, including at SurviveThanksgiving.com.
— MeetKai Inc. (@meetkaiinc) October 31, 2023
Tapping new trends
The Sony Pictures and Spyglass Media move into the metaverse is part of a broader trend among major media entities. In recent months, brands such as Disney, Warner Music Group, and Universal have all created their own metaverse experiences in The Sandbox.
The metaverse, a new frontier where people can explore new worlds, meet, and create new experiences, is seen as a major opportunity for media companies to reach fresh audiences and generate new revenue streams.
In May, the BBC announced the launch of its popular television programs Doctor Who and Top Gear in the metaverse, part of the British broadcaster’s “ambitious plans to grow our brands into new categories with innovative technology.”
The metaverse is a virtual world that is accessed through a variety of devices, including VR headsets and smartphones. It is seen as the next generation of the internet and is already being used by a number of companies, including Meta, Microsoft, and Roblox.