On Wednesday, the game maker's Custom Street Racer 2 (CSR2) racing game, a free download for iOS and Android, will serve as the augmented stage for the unveiling of the new Pagani Automobili's Huayra Roadster BC, the first "hypercar" to make its public debut in augmented reality via video game.
"CSR2 gives players the opportunity to drive rare and exquisite cars that most of us only experience in our dreams," said Jullian Widdows, vice president of the CSR2 team at Zynga, in a statement. "Seeing the Pagani Roadster BC's smooth and elegant racing on the streets of CSR2 is a triumphant amalgamation of science and art. We couldn't be prouder to be Pagani Automobili's chosen partner to unveil the Roadster BC to the public."
Unfortunately, actually getting a glimpse of the Huayra Roadster BC in augmented reality takes a bit more effort than just downloading and installing the app. To acquire the hypercar, players must first compete in an 80-race ladder using the Pagani Huayra Coupé, which players receive for free. Players will then have a chance to add the car to their virtual garages throughout the event. In addition, players can win the Pagani Zonda HP Barchetta.
Once the achievements are unlocked, though, players can place the highly detailed 3D models of the vehicles in their physical environment at both life-sized and toy scale. Players can use the app to explore the vehicle's ornate interior and engine-on-steroids as well.
"When Horacio Pagani first began designing cars 44 years ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that a car like the Roadster BC would ever be unveiled to the world in a mobile game," said Michael Staskin, managing director of Pagani Automobili America.
The decision to unveil the car in a video game instead of on broad platforms like Snapchat, which previously gave viewers the first AR view of the BMW X2, or via a standalone app like Porsche's, came down to Zynga's focus on quality of content.
"We chose to partner with CSR2 on the reveal of the Roadster BC because we are both leaders in our respective industries, we both show incredible attention to design and detail and we both continue to disrupt what is considered normal in the automotive industry," said Staskin.
This latest development demonstrates that augmented reality for marketing is still a fairly wide open field, as advertisers and brands are still getting their feet wet and figuring out what works and what doesn't. In this case, in-game marketing appears to be a growing frontier for immersive promotions targeting a niche fan base.