AMC continues to gnaw away at virtual reality marketing.
The Walking Dead is coming back this weekend in a big way. AMC has launched a virtual reality (VR) app which will house 360-degree immersive content from the hit TV show to complement its Sunday premiere.
The AMC VR app will provide supplementary material for season 8, including an extended bonus scene from the premiere starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Seth Gilliam. The Walking Dead executive producer, special effects makeup supervisor and director Greg Nicotero and VR filmmaker Kevin Cornish co-directed the scene.
This won’t be the first time The Walking Dead has incorporated VR into their marketing campaigns. Two previously-released scenes will be included in the AMC VR app alongside the Sunday special: “Devoured,” where audiences will experience first-hand what it’s like to be eaten by a zombie, and “Herd,” in which users get to be a part of a walking dead mob. The season 8 trailer and a segment from Ride with Norman Reedus (a travel show headlined by The Walking Dead actor) will be available in the app’s screening room as well.
Although The Walking Dead is AMC’s most popular ongoing show by far, the AMC VR app won’t just be zombie-centric. The app will also feature content tailored towards fans of AMC’s martial arts-based show, Into the Badlands. Eventually, the network plans to include material from its horror anthology series, The Terror.
According to AMC’s EVP of innovation, Mac McKean, VR is the perfect avenue for giving fandoms what they want outside of the contained world in shows like The Walking Dead:
“VR is a new area, and for everyone it’s about getting into this medium, understanding and building our audience, and serving our fans the way they want to be served. This extends your experience of the show – so you can get into the world itself.”
VR is also not strictly limited to promotional campaigns and AMC shows have tapped into it better than most others. Past AMC gem Breaking Bad is headed to the platform, with show creator Vince Gilligan collaborating with Sony’s PlayStation on a non-game VR experience. An actual VR game based on The Walking Dead is currently in development with Skydance Interactive too, and it is slated to release in 2018. Per Variety: “The games will give fans a way to immerse themselves in the world of the show, but feature a new setting and new characters.”
Robert Kirkman’s series about the undead are constantly finding new life in varying forms, which makes total sense. The branding of The Walking Dead itself simply lends itself to a virtual reality experience, given the visceral nature of the comics and show as a whole. The AMC VR App is currently available on iOS and Android, and the Samsung/Oculus Gear VR and Google Daydream headsets.