A growing number of QR codes have been appearing in mainstream video games. Developers have begun to recognize the barcodes as a tool to further engage players and provider a more in depth experience. Borderlands, a first-person shooter, was the first to use the codes back in 2009. Nintendo has used them as a way for players to share their digital avatars. Other developers have tried using the codes, but few have been successful in grabbing player’s attention.
THQ, a game development company based in California, recently released their much anticipated first-person shooter Homefront. Ten codes are hidden through the games various levels, each containing exclusive content relating to the storyline. THQ did not disclose their use of QR codes before the game’s launch yet they generated more than 30,000 scans within two days. That number has since climbed to 50,000 scans.
Many of the codes are linked to videos that provide additional background on the storyline. Each video has roughly 18,000 views and are currently only available to those that scanned the in-game codes.
The codes are hidden throughout the game with their presence only ever being hinted at through sounds triggered when players are close to their location. THQ has made no effort to broadcast the existence of the codes, hoping that players will enjoy the added sense of discovery upon finding the blocky patterns.
THQ is likely to continue using the codes in a series of downloadable add-ons to Homefront.