Gear Talk will bring "Gears of War Judgment" (GOWJ) to life by providing gamers the opportunity to speak directly with characters, but the real benefit come from instant feedback from fans and the ability to integrate it into future episodes.
Roundhouse's creative team, Xbox's agency of record, will produce the live interaction on the Xbox Web site by integrating social media with the gaming experience, tapping search and social to spread the word.
Fans of GOWJ -- produced by Epic -- log in with either their Twitter or Facebook ID for the chance to ask questions of the two main characters, Damon Baird and Augustus Cole. Text messages in real-time will help the two answer most of the questions, but some will get answered via a voice recording straight from Baird and Cole. The events take place on March 7 and 14.
Xbox's social fan base spans more than 20,781,000 Facebook fans and 857,000 Twitter followers.
Once the questions have been asked and answered, they remain in an archive allowing fans to relive the answers. If GOWJ producers and writers are smart, they will listen to the replays to develop characterization and events that drive future games.
Roundhouse has promoted the event through the Web site, member newsletter, and Xbox Live dashboard. Typically, the agency will use keywords to tag YouTube videos and other assets, and sometimes put paid social behind it like Promoted Tweets or Facebook Sponsored Stories.
When asked whether Roundhouse will have the ability to tie the campaign into sales, Roundhouse Campaign Lead Scott Rouse admits it's always a challenge. "We can make qualitative measures like how sentiment changes, and for quantitative analysis we look at total engagement, such as questions asked, as well as impressions and number of unique users," he said. "When it comes to having correlations to direct sales, it gets a little tricky. Sales happen through independent retailers, so unless we have their data, we aren't able to correlate the engagement from a social activity to the purchase of the game."