A Webgame for Microsoft’s Xbox One Campaign

Client Microsoft App and Web Development

Dec 2020,

“The campaign was a huge success commercially and drove record consumer engagement, thanks to the great partnership with Motius.”

Florian Liewer,

Director Xbox Gaming (D/A/CH), Microsoft

The
Challenge

Develop an engaging, challenging and cheat-safe browser game that is playable on all kinds of devices in the scope of an interactive advertisement campaign.

The
Outcome

XONG, a browser game based on the classic Pong game with a series of improvements regarding engagement, look and technical capabilities that was an integral part of Microsoft’s Xbox One X campaign.

The
Impact

A successful marketing campaign for Microsoft that did not only increase the number of Xbox One X sales but also represented the company in an authentic and user-oriented way.

Technologies

  • C++
  • .Net
  • C#
  • WebGL
  • JavaScript
  • Adobe Illustrator

Team Size

7 people

Year

2018

Maturity Level

Product Launch

How Pong started

Microsoft’s Xbox One is one of the most influential game consoles in the world. As a successor of the Xbox 360, it has been shaping video gaming and home entertainment for years. In the scope of releasing the Xbox One X in late 2018, Microsoft wanted to create a campaign that would engage and catch the attention of gamers.

The idea was to create an interactive advertisement campaign with a browser game through which gamers can win coupons. Nothing fancy about that, but from that simple concept Microsoft worked their way up together with us at Motius. Here’s how we built XONG.

Adding a twist to the pong formula

Classic Pong was first released in 1972 and is quite simple. The player controls a pong-paddle that you can move in every direction. The goal is to keep a ball moving back and forth between you and the enemy’s paddle and prevent it from hitting the wall behind you for as long as possible. Whenever you miss the ball, the other player gains a point. It basically resembles table tennis.

While Pong is quite fun, it’s also not really what gamers expect anymore. To run a successful campaign with it, we added features and variables that make the game more interesting, engaging and fun.

Giving Pong a new look

First, Pong needed a new retro look. After ideating on possible styles with moodboards, we agreed that we wanted it to be reminiscent of old arcade games, including screen flickering and a “pillow”-like distortion of old CRT monitors. Every level got an individual design and colour-palette, conveying progression and mood, while including easter eggs and references to Microsoft branded games.

Obstacles, Enemies and Badges

We divided XONG into four different stages with different levels. The first stage is quite easy, but from the second stage onwards, obstacles appear that can block the ball. In the third and last level, they are joined by enemies. These don’t just block the ball but also shoot at your paddle, which slows your paddle down. To achieve the level of gameplay-quality we wanted, we created a custom level editor. This way we could test and tweak endless combinations and parameters.

Technical Challenges in building Xong

The technical challenges that we faced during the XONG project were quite diverse. For instance, developing a browser game that can be played on almost all kinds of devices is a challenging task. To solve it, we built our own browser-based game engine using C++ and JavaScript. Further, we developed the whole gameplay from scratch.

Last but not least, we also developed an anti-cheat-software. Since this campaign involved real coupons for real products, we needed to make sure that cheating is impossible. A near impossible task in itself, when you consider how big the hacker community around games is, and how elaborate the tools out there are. We ended up with a mix of different technical approaches and other strategies to successfully avoid financial damage.

Ready to play XONG? Just click the button below.

Florian Liewer Portrait

“The idea behind XONG was to drive Video Gaming Console Sales in a way Gamers fancy the most: Through a Game! The campaign was a huge success commercially and drove record consumer engagement, thanks to the great partnership with Motius.”

Florian Liewer

Director Xbox Gaming (D/A/CH)

Want to build a product of the future?

The
Challenge

Develop an engaging, challenging and cheat-safe browser game that is playable on all kinds of devices in the scope of an interactive advertisement campaign.

The
Outcome

XONG, a browser game based on the classic Pong game with a series of improvements regarding engagement, look and technical capabilities that was an integral part of Microsoft’s Xbox One X campaign.

The
Impact

A successful marketing campaign for Microsoft that did not only increase the number of Xbox One X sales but also represented the company in an authentic and user-oriented way.

Technologies

  • C++
  • .Net
  • C#
  • WebGL
  • JavaScript
  • Adobe Illustrator

Team Size

7 people

Year

2018

Maturity Level

Product Launch

How Pong started

Microsoft’s Xbox One is one of the most influential game consoles in the world. As a successor of the Xbox 360, it has been shaping video gaming and home entertainment for years. In the scope of releasing the Xbox One X in late 2018, Microsoft wanted to create a campaign that would engage and catch the attention of gamers.

The idea was to create an interactive advertisement campaign with a browser game through which gamers can win coupons. Nothing fancy about that, but from that simple concept Microsoft worked their way up together with us at Motius. Here’s how we built XONG.

Adding a twist to the pong formula

Classic Pong was first released in 1972 and is quite simple. The player controls a pong-paddle that you can move in every direction. The goal is to keep a ball moving back and forth between you and the enemy’s paddle and prevent it from hitting the wall behind you for as long as possible. Whenever you miss the ball, the other player gains a point. It basically resembles table tennis.

While Pong is quite fun, it’s also not really what gamers expect anymore. To run a successful campaign with it, we added features and variables that make the game more interesting, engaging and fun.

Giving Pong a new look

First, Pong needed a new retro look. After ideating on possible styles with moodboards, we agreed that we wanted it to be reminiscent of old arcade games, including screen flickering and a “pillow”-like distortion of old CRT monitors. Every level got an individual design and colour-palette, conveying progression and mood, while including easter eggs and references to Microsoft branded games.

Obstacles, Enemies and Badges

We divided XONG into four different stages with different levels. The first stage is quite easy, but from the second stage onwards, obstacles appear that can block the ball. In the third and last level, they are joined by enemies. These don’t just block the ball but also shoot at your paddle, which slows your paddle down. To achieve the level of gameplay-quality we wanted, we created a custom level editor. This way we could test and tweak endless combinations and parameters.

Technical Challenges in building Xong

The technical challenges that we faced during the XONG project were quite diverse. For instance, developing a browser game that can be played on almost all kinds of devices is a challenging task. To solve it, we built our own browser-based game engine using C++ and JavaScript. Further, we developed the whole gameplay from scratch.

Last but not least, we also developed an anti-cheat-software. Since this campaign involved real coupons for real products, we needed to make sure that cheating is impossible. A near impossible task in itself, when you consider how big the hacker community around games is, and how elaborate the tools out there are. We ended up with a mix of different technical approaches and other strategies to successfully avoid financial damage.

Ready to play XONG? Just click the button below.

Florian Liewer Portrait

“The idea behind XONG was to drive Video Gaming Console Sales in a way Gamers fancy the most: Through a Game! The campaign was a huge success commercially and drove record consumer engagement, thanks to the great partnership with Motius.”

Florian Liewer

Director Xbox Gaming (D/A/CH)

Want to build a product of the future?

The
Challenge

Develop an engaging, challenging and cheat-safe browser game that is playable on all kinds of devices in the scope of an interactive advertisement campaign.

The
Outcome

XONG, a browser game based on the classic Pong game with a series of improvements regarding engagement, look and technical capabilities that was an integral part of Microsoft’s Xbox One X campaign.

The
Impact

A successful marketing campaign for Microsoft that did not only increase the number of Xbox One X sales but also represented the company in an authentic and user-oriented way.

Technologies

  • C++
  • .Net
  • C#
  • WebGL
  • JavaScript
  • Adobe Illustrator

Team Size

7 people

Year

2018

Maturity Level

Product Launch

How Pong started

Microsoft’s Xbox One is one of the most influential game consoles in the world. As a successor of the Xbox 360, it has been shaping video gaming and home entertainment for years. In the scope of releasing the Xbox One X in late 2018, Microsoft wanted to create a campaign that would engage and catch the attention of gamers.

The idea was to create an interactive advertisement campaign with a browser game through which gamers can win coupons. Nothing fancy about that, but from that simple concept Microsoft worked their way up together with us at Motius. Here’s how we built XONG.

Adding a twist to the pong formula

Classic Pong was first released in 1972 and is quite simple. The player controls a pong-paddle that you can move in every direction. The goal is to keep a ball moving back and forth between you and the enemy’s paddle and prevent it from hitting the wall behind you for as long as possible. Whenever you miss the ball, the other player gains a point. It basically resembles table tennis.

While Pong is quite fun, it’s also not really what gamers expect anymore. To run a successful campaign with it, we added features and variables that make the game more interesting, engaging and fun.

Giving Pong a new look

First, Pong needed a new retro look. After ideating on possible styles with moodboards, we agreed that we wanted it to be reminiscent of old arcade games, including screen flickering and a “pillow”-like distortion of old CRT monitors. Every level got an individual design and colour-palette, conveying progression and mood, while including easter eggs and references to Microsoft branded games.

Obstacles, Enemies and Badges

We divided XONG into four different stages with different levels. The first stage is quite easy, but from the second stage onwards, obstacles appear that can block the ball. In the third and last level, they are joined by enemies. These don’t just block the ball but also shoot at your paddle, which slows your paddle down. To achieve the level of gameplay-quality we wanted, we created a custom level editor. This way we could test and tweak endless combinations and parameters.

Technical Challenges in building Xong

The technical challenges that we faced during the XONG project were quite diverse. For instance, developing a browser game that can be played on almost all kinds of devices is a challenging task. To solve it, we built our own browser-based game engine using C++ and JavaScript. Further, we developed the whole gameplay from scratch.

Last but not least, we also developed an anti-cheat-software. Since this campaign involved real coupons for real products, we needed to make sure that cheating is impossible. A near impossible task in itself, when you consider how big the hacker community around games is, and how elaborate the tools out there are. We ended up with a mix of different technical approaches and other strategies to successfully avoid financial damage.

Ready to play XONG? Just click the button below.

Florian Liewer Portrait

“The idea behind XONG was to drive Video Gaming Console Sales in a way Gamers fancy the most: Through a Game! The campaign was a huge success commercially and drove record consumer engagement, thanks to the great partnership with Motius.”

Florian Liewer

Director Xbox Gaming (D/A/CH)

Want to build a product of the future?

The
Challenge

Develop an engaging, challenging and cheat-safe browser game that is playable on all kinds of devices in the scope of an interactive advertisement campaign.

The
Outcome

XONG, a browser game based on the classic Pong game with a series of improvements regarding engagement, look and technical capabilities that was an integral part of Microsoft’s Xbox One X campaign.

The
Impact

A successful marketing campaign for Microsoft that did not only increase the number of Xbox One X sales but also represented the company in an authentic and user-oriented way.

Technologies

  • C++
  • .Net
  • C#
  • WebGL
  • JavaScript
  • Adobe Illustrator

Team Size

7 people

Year

2018

Maturity Level

Product Launch

How Pong started

Microsoft’s Xbox One is one of the most influential game consoles in the world. As a successor of the Xbox 360, it has been shaping video gaming and home entertainment for years. In the scope of releasing the Xbox One X in late 2018, Microsoft wanted to create a campaign that would engage and catch the attention of gamers.

The idea was to create an interactive advertisement campaign with a browser game through which gamers can win coupons. Nothing fancy about that, but from that simple concept Microsoft worked their way up together with us at Motius. Here’s how we built XONG.

Adding a twist to the pong formula

Classic Pong was first released in 1972 and is quite simple. The player controls a pong-paddle that you can move in every direction. The goal is to keep a ball moving back and forth between you and the enemy’s paddle and prevent it from hitting the wall behind you for as long as possible. Whenever you miss the ball, the other player gains a point. It basically resembles table tennis.

While Pong is quite fun, it’s also not really what gamers expect anymore. To run a successful campaign with it, we added features and variables that make the game more interesting, engaging and fun.

Giving Pong a new look

First, Pong needed a new retro look. After ideating on possible styles with moodboards, we agreed that we wanted it to be reminiscent of old arcade games, including screen flickering and a “pillow”-like distortion of old CRT monitors. Every level got an individual design and colour-palette, conveying progression and mood, while including easter eggs and references to Microsoft branded games.

Obstacles, Enemies and Badges

We divided XONG into four different stages with different levels. The first stage is quite easy, but from the second stage onwards, obstacles appear that can block the ball. In the third and last level, they are joined by enemies. These don’t just block the ball but also shoot at your paddle, which slows your paddle down. To achieve the level of gameplay-quality we wanted, we created a custom level editor. This way we could test and tweak endless combinations and parameters.

Technical Challenges in building Xong

The technical challenges that we faced during the XONG project were quite diverse. For instance, developing a browser game that can be played on almost all kinds of devices is a challenging task. To solve it, we built our own browser-based game engine using C++ and JavaScript. Further, we developed the whole gameplay from scratch.

Last but not least, we also developed an anti-cheat-software. Since this campaign involved real coupons for real products, we needed to make sure that cheating is impossible. A near impossible task in itself, when you consider how big the hacker community around games is, and how elaborate the tools out there are. We ended up with a mix of different technical approaches and other strategies to successfully avoid financial damage.

Ready to play XONG? Just click the button below.

Florian Liewer Portrait

“The idea behind XONG was to drive Video Gaming Console Sales in a way Gamers fancy the most: Through a Game! The campaign was a huge success commercially and drove record consumer engagement, thanks to the great partnership with Motius.”

Florian Liewer

Director Xbox Gaming (D/A/CH)

Want to build a product of the future?

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