Hasbro Launches Clue Immersive Instagram Murder Mystery Game Series (Exclusive)
Notice, Hasbro‘s classic mystery game, reimagined for the social media age to celebrate the recent launch of the board game’s latest iteration.
Tuesday evening is the four-week Instagram The event kicked off with a two-hour memorial experience for the game’s famous victim and villain, Boddy Black. Hosted by crime junkie Podcaster Ashley Flowers, the experience took participants to Black’s home, where they could examine various materials and interview featured Clue actors on their way to solving the mystery behind his death.
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“As someone who is captivated by intricate plots, unexpected twists and gripping investigations, I’m thrilled to bring that same excitement to this launch party,” says Flowers The Hollywood Reporter. “My goal [was] to create an immersive experience that makes participants feel like they just solved a real crime.”
A combination of experimental, digital and physical elements, the implementation of the traditional board game experience allowed players to truly become part of Clue’s beloved narrative. “This launch event brings Clue to life in a way that not only honors its classic roots, but also demonstrates the game’s ability to evolve and adapt to the modern age,” adds Flowers. “It’s a testament to Clue’s enduring popularity and its ability to capture the imagination of gamers of all ages.”
That evening, as Hasbro worked with The Martin Agency to develop the Instagram experience, trailer and campaign, with Sauvage behind the animation and motion capture, Clue’s famous storylines, characters and backgrounds were brought to life while it served as a precursor to the immersive Instagram game. It also featured the launch of the game’s cinematic trailer, which The Hollywood Reporter can exclusively reveal below.
As for the Instagram game, a more inclusive group of Mr. Boddy’s guests in the board game’s latest chapter — Miss Scarlett, Colonel Mustard, Mayor Green, Chef White, Solicitor Peacock, and Professor Plum — have been reinvented by the Unreal Engine as metahumans and Motion capture technology. The game officially begins on March 2nd and will unfold daily with new evidence, suspect testimonies, witness accounts and first-person accounts being revealed to players around the world.
As part of the online game, Hasbro also partnered with British carmaker McLaren and fashion designer Halston, and Amazon’s home security and smart home company Ring. These collaborations allow for the integration of real-world brands into the game and anchor the game’s timeless characters to the real world.
Each week, Flowers will also provide summaries of the case, analyzing new findings and sharing predictions about the killer on her pages own Instagram for fans and players.
“By expanding storytelling across multiple digital and physical formats, we are breaking new ground for the original crime game,” said Adam Biehl, senior vice president and general manager of Hasbro Gaming, in a statement. “We’re excited to offer fans around the world the opportunity to see, for the first time ever, their favorite CLUE characters jump from the recently updated gameboard into the real world of social media for an immersive crime-solving experience unlike any other seek anything seen before.”
In seven decades, Clue has sold more than 150 million boards and has become one of the most popular board games in the world. It has been updated over a dozen times in its 75-year history and redesigned countless times through various extensions and licenses. The latest iteration was released in January 2023 with new twists on the classic mystery storylines, a diverse cast, highly stylized game elements and a new setting – the Tudor Mansion.
The new box set is designed to resemble Boddy Black’s desk covered in blackmail evidence he obtained, giving players the opportunity to discover more information. The new board expands to a 20″ x 20″ play area and the generically colored pawns and simple murder weapon parts have been replaced with molded metal piece movers with a gold finish and richly textured weapons.
Before Tuesday night’s event The Hollywood Reporter spoke to Julien McCluney, VP Global Brands, Hasbro, about welcoming a new era of Clue, why the latest reimagining has gotten richer and what makes one of the world’s most iconic games so timeless and adaptable to almost any medium.
What inspired this classic game character rename, and are there other gameplay elements outside of the characters’ looks that you wanted to update for this latest Clue reveal?
For years, Clue has delighted fans around the world, from all walks of life, through countless game night interrogations, cult-classic entertainment, and fandom moments. With the recent accelerated rise of mystery and true-crime content in the media and mainstream pop culture, we felt now was the perfect time to reintroduce this classic board game that inspired so many modern day retellings of the classic whodunit has.
A big inspiration for the Clue update is to more accurately reflect the diversity of its players. We recognize the importance of reinventing these iconic characters and hope that this next chapter of Clue will allow players to better relate to the characters and delve deeper into the sophisticated fictional crime and crime-solving experience.
How did you feel about your new character designs? And how could the original iterations of the game have informed their new ones?
A lot of thought went into each character design to reflect more meaningful backstories and motives. A character like Colonel Mustard stays very close to his original counterpart, but other new characters like Solicitor Peacock take inspiration from their “socialite” status in the original iterations. Slight nods like this in the new characters keep fans stuck in nostalgia while still getting to see new characters that better reflect the present.
Just as our slogan says, “One is guilty, none is innocent.” We were careful to weigh their motives so none of them could be perceived as heroes and all had equally valid reasons for committing the crime. We wanted the characters to be fleshed out and as realistic as possible while maintaining the general rule that everyone is privileged in some way – by wealth, status, position or influence.
Clue is one of those games that really feels timeless. So why is the company interested in rebrands like this from both a consumer and gaming design perspective? And ultimately, how could it support the game’s timelessness?
Absolutely! Clue has definitely remained a timeless crime-solving experience and continues to be one of the most popular board games in the world. However, we’re always looking for new ways to highlight brands that resonate with so many and offer fans familiar but new experiences, storylines, characters and locations. Only last year we introduced the Clue escape game series, which creatively brings escape room style play into the familiar realm of classic board games. Each box features a cinematic story with an engaging puzzle to solve and a game system that caters to a wide range of skill levels so no one is left out of the fun. This update allows for cross-generational appeal, giving older fans who grew up with Clue a chance to relive unforgettable childhood moments, while new players can experience something new.
Clue has existed for years in multiple mediums alongside its classic board game – PC and console games, a film and mini-series, a musical, books and an upcoming animated series. Why did Instagram feel like the next platform/medium the game should expand into?
Social media, and Instagram in particular, is a new direction for Clue. We saw that there was a way to bring the classic story and characters into the present and ground them in reality. If Miss Scarlett or any of our other characters were real in 2023, they would undoubtedly have a social presence! And as an image-heavy platform, Instagram became the perfect solution for allowing fans around the world to put on their detective hats, decode the evidence, and solve the case.
Can you talk about how the team approached adapting Clue for an interactive global Instagram event? Fans probably love the idea of Clue feeling more tangible and interactive, but there were probably a number of things that needed to be considered to make it playable in this way.
This is the world’s first clue game on Instagram, so creating the story and planning how the months-long puzzle would unfold was no easy task. It needs to be of some difficulty due to its duration and real-time accessibility for all, while still being easily digestible for casual fans who might jump in in the later weeks. At its core, fans are simply trying to solve Boddy Black’s murder, but they’ll soon uncover a rich backstory full of twists and turns. We wanted to expand the “who, where, what” scenario that the board game is known for to possibly the greatest extent possible.
What have been the biggest challenges for you in bringing Clue to a social media platform for a four week immersive digital experience compared to the 90 or so minutes that the board game and even video or PC games offer?
The biggest challenge is that this clue game on Instagram is open to everyone at the same time. It’s literally the biggest clue game as the world tries to solve a murder mystery. The board game allows game variations, with each game played offering a new outcome. This socially motivated game will culminate in an exciting solution.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
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