via press release:
USA NETWORK LAUNCHES “PSYCH” #HASHTAGKILLER MURDER MYSTERY
ONLINE AND THROUGH FACEBOOK
Immersive Online Social Game Allows Fans to be a Key Part of Solving a Whodunit –
Leading up to Season Premiere of One of Cable’s No. 1 Series, PSYCH
NEW YORK – September 28, 2011 – USA Network today announces the launch of PSYCH’s #HashTagKiller (HTK), a suspenseful murder mystery social game created in conjunction with the writers of the show and executive producers Chris Henze, Kelly Kulchak and Steve Franks. The thrilling “whodunit” experience will take fans of the show through an engaging PSYCH storyline specifically created for this experience, allowing them to send and receive messages directly with Shawn and Gus (series stars James Roday and Dulé Hill), in an effort to solve the case. Through the company’s integration with Facebook’s Open Graph technology, fans will now be able to integrate the game into their Facebook world, pulling friends in and even possibly becoming HTK victims themselves. The seven-week game will unfold online at www.hashtagkiller.com and USANetwork.com leading up to the highly anticipated return and season premiere of PSYCH on Wednesday, October 12 at 10/9c.
Every week, fans will be immersed in real time communication through messages on Facebook, picture messages, audio feeds, and high-production video shot with the cast specifically for the game and made to look like the actual show. Through interactive crime scenes fans will be called upon to use their investigative skills to notice out of place items, titillating crime scene clues and critical leads that could all prove invaluable to catch the mysterious killer. As they investigate crime scenes and unlock bonus games, real “Psych-O’s” (PSYCH fans/enthusiasts) can earn points to climb up the Club PSYCH leader board making them eligible to be one of the #HashtagKiller’s victims. Each week will provide new puzzles, more difficult challenges and ultimately claim a new victim, allowing fans to rack up reward points as they go. Players can join the game at any point and even continue to play if they find themselves becoming one of the unfortunate victims.
“Gamification has worked well for USA properties and been very popular among our fans, giving them unprecedented interaction and engagement with cast, characters, show creators and other loyal fans extending beyond the on-air boundaries of the original series,” said Jesse Redniss, vice president, Digital, USA. “We chose this approach to extend the life and fun of PSYCH, and give fans the unique perspective of being totally enveloped in a storyline created specifically for them online. This gaming experience further illustrates USA’s commitment to pushing forward and defining the concept of SocialTV, while giving fans the content they crave in an entertaining new package.”
While PSYCH #hashtagkiller is creating buzz online, fans will also be able to join USA’s Character Chatter at http://characterchatter.usanetwork.com or on Facebook to share their latest clues and swap their predictions as to where Shawn and Gus will catch the #hashtagkiller. The online portal funnels live feeds from all social communication portals, including Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and pulls in video and picture feeds in-stream, allowing fans to watch a video posted to YouTube directly from the chat stream. Conversations on Character Chatter are accessible on all platforms, including Smartphones and tablets.
Club PSYCH rewards loyal PSYCH fans, more than 100,000 registered users to-date, who regularly watch videos, play games, take quizzes, check into the site via GetGlue, and share content on social networking sites with points that can be used towards the purchase of virtual goods and PSYCH merchandise. Fans can also track their progress and see how they compare with other Club PSYCH members through a virtual leaderboard. To date, USA has rewarded these “Psych-O’s” with tangible goods, invaluable signed collectables, and over 50,000 online rewards like bonus content, virtual stickers and more.
The innovative HashtagKiller social experience was built using the scripted social networking platform from SocialSamba (http://www.socialsamba.com), the leader when it comes to bringing characters into the social fabric. USA also teamed with Glow Interactive to develop the interactive crime scenes.