perplex.jpg The folks at essential ARG ('alternate reality game') website have released a 'year in review' for the entire ARG scene, analyzing what it sees as "one of the most successful and eye-opening years in the short history of Alternate Reality Gaming.."

The excellent, comprehensive overview notes in its introduction: "As the world became more familiar with ARG through hit games The Art of the Heist, Perplex City, Jamie Kane and Last Call Poker, the community was also treated to many interesting and in-depth grassroots projects like Omnifam and Seen Steve. Overall, the year was very good for the genre, and the community is thriving and growing very day."

Particularly interesting is what the site saw as 'the move towards the self-sufficient ARG': "While the majority of the "big budget" games continued to have marketing tie-ins (with corporate dollars attached), Perplex City continued to turn heads for their efforts to create an Alternate Reality Game that is large in scale but is maintained through its own sources of revenue. The partnership between game creators Mind Candy and UK retailer Firebox has proven to be successful for both sides, and a recent influx of capital funds by Index Ventures, a major venture capital company, shows that ARG is becoming big business the world over." Overall, an essential article.