God of War is an acclaimed PlayStation franchise, but the recent PlayStation 4 release saw a bold reimagining with Kratos’ vengeance against the gods of Olympus left far behind – as he seeks solitude in the unfamiliar lands of Norse Gods and monsters – and has been met with universal acclaim and a 94% Metacritic rating. We were briefed by Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe to create a “bespoke one-of-a-kind media kit that would visually depict the new narrative, drawing inspiration from Norse mythology and portray the main protagonists, Kratos, and his son, Atreus.”
The final product was localised to 11 languages and delivered to 2413 recipients across 35 global territories to tie into the game’s release date – with premium production values, tactile materials and exclusive keepsakes informing media and key influencers in an engaging and stylistic manner which promoted social media coverage.
A semi-transparent o-ring outer utilised Fedrigoni’s Pergamenata Bianco, it’s white snow-esque texture chosen to further the panoramic snow blizzard image and allow teasing glimpses of the content within. The original colour artwork was changed to monotone to convey a resetting of the game’s previous aesthetic and featured a subtle inclusion of the 2 main characters. The o-ring was removed to reveal the inner content, a premium styled paper over board presentation box – it’s 5 piece lid met in the middle to create a distinctive opening method. The box outer was conceived to be intentionally intriguing, with the lid’s striking Nordic iconography continuing around the spines and onto the back – realised though distressing gloss black and metallic red foils onto Colorplan Smoke Morocco embossed paper, which was printed to give the box an aged aesthetic.
The 5 piece lid opened to reveal it’s God of War linkage and a bold contrast to the limited tones of the outer. The inner lid panels featured stylised imagery of Kratos & Atreus at either side, printed on Peregrina Majestic Snow White for a striking visual effect, which framed a central box base with further Nordic iconography. The base featured a card top panel with the God of War keyart, printed on an uncoated board – the Serpent of the logo was red foiled for further standout, whilst the flap featured a thumbhole at the bottom to facilitate access to the kit’s content below.
The card panel was duplexed, with the reverse in a textured fabric-esque card, Symbol Freelife E/E33 Raster, with localised introduction from the Creative Director of developer Santa Monica Studio, Cory Barlog, as well as numbered editioning to further exclusivity. The background featured Nordic iconography over a subtle background image, to further convey the game’s new setting. The first piece of content in the box was a 16 page booklet, printed on the same material as the reverse of the card flap, and removed from the box via the integrated red ribbon pull. The booklet’s front cover featured a striking image of the snake – a detail taken from the keyart on the flap – and opened out to reveal Kratos and Atreus on the reverse. The booklet’s front cover featured a bold image of the snake – a detail taken from the keyart on the top panel – and opened out to reveal Kratos and Atreus on the reverse. The inner pages featured exclusive concept art and a 4 page section of localised information about the game and it’s origins, including exclusive notes from the developer. Headlines were set in a bespoke font produced for the game, Berserker, with body copy in Gill Sans. One of the most difficult aspects when doing the media kits is ensuring the designs and typography will work across up to 12 languages – including Russian, Polish, Greek and Arabic – and working out which elements are localised to meet the budget/timeframes without impacting aesthetically.
The booklet’s removal revealed further content – a card disc sleeve – held within a striking black card fitment with black foiled Nordic iconography and removed with the help of the angled thumbhole underneath. As per the o-ring and booklet, the disc sleeve featured panoramic artwork of Kratos and Atreus – and the image by Jose Peña, was defined as the core entity for the game’s visual look and feel during development. An angled thumbhole on the sleeve mirrored that of the card panel and fitment, giving sight of the review disc within – which was designed to resemble a Nordic shield – whilst the sleeve also featured a hidden reveal on it’s inner.
With the disc sleeve removed, the exclusive keepsake content was revealed – set into the black card fitment, with angled thumbholes to aid removal: referencing Atreus’ journal in the game was a red Velobond bookmark with debossed Nordic detailing and contrasting dark tactile reverse with red foiled Serpent; a gold pewter embossed sticker with intricate Nordic iconography; and a thick metal coin with Huldra Brothers/GOW branding, which we hand distressed to look battle scarred. As the content was removed from the fitment it revealed a bold red background with further Nordic iconography.
Two Special Editions were also created for Santa Monica Studio: with staff receiving an additional Nordic hymn sheet with decollaged edges; and an ultra VIP edition of 3 – which included kit #0001 presented to Cory Barlog. This saw the media kit presented within a bespoke wooden box – the wood was hand stained before being laser engraved with Nordic insignia and the release date – whilst the hinged lid was secured with a metal clasp, and opened to reveal a personalised printed panel on the lid inner and the media kit held securely in the base.
The media kit received great feedback – especially from the client and key figures at Santa Monica Studio – resulting in extensive social media coverage and YouTube unboxings. Imagery of the kit and it’s production below, with further imagery to be found on a future Fluid website update.