Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 recently became the latest video game to support branded content on YouTube, pairing up with Network_A to create an episode of the extreme sports channel’s Every Third Thursday web series. That collaboration turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg. A fan-made Black Ops 2 web series has also released its first teaser trailer this week, and YouTube has invited fans of the game to live stream their gameplay videos.
Though the web series, which is based around the game’s Left 4 Dead-esque zombie mode, won’t be released for another two months, its creators are making clever use of the game’s release date to build some hype. Several other fan series, such as Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat: Legacy and Warp Factor 2’s Castlevania: Hymn of Blood have gone on to earn distribution deals. This fan production has plenty of polish, and the folks at JasonRoseteFilm (who also previously created a short film based on Left 4 Dead) are savvy enough that I could see them getting some network attention in the future.
As for the live streams, they seem to be a collaborative project between Black Ops 2 and YouTube, as the game has a built in live stream feature. Several notable channels, such as Machinima Respawn and EA, have joined in on the fun.
I probably sound like a broken record by now, but this is all due to the success of Halo: Forward Unto Dawn. Since that series broke out to the tune of more than 27.5 million views, we’ve seen a number of branded efforts from the gaming industry, and even fans are understanding that game-related original content is the way of the future. Will the Black Ops 2 Zombies web series be any good? We’ll still have to wait a couple of months to find out.