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A digital brand extension


One of the most progressive Social Virtual Worlds online


ScapeNation was one of the most progressive Social Virtual Worlds on the web. The brain child of Philadelphia indie ad agency Red Tettemer, it told the story of a fictional world’s cry for help. Characters within the game called out one simple plea: Darkness is upon us. You are our only hope.


A conversation with digital native customers

International clothing retailer, Tween Brands (NYSE: TWB) —owners of the Justice brand, asked Red Tettemer to develop a new conversation with their digital native customers. Red Tettemer asked A51 to build it. Together, we built one of the most progressive virtual worlds on the web. Hundreds of thousands of avatars happily lived, played, chatted, and bought stuff.

A new revenue stream for Tween Brands

Tween Brands recognized the need to move beyond their brick and mortar retail outlets and create a brand online. They needed a destination that would compliment their existing infrastructure and appeal to their youthful audience.

The endeavour was not strictly promotional, it was mandated to become a new revenue stream for Tween Brands. User capacity, failover, scalability, and enterprise level infrastructure where required to satisfy Tween Brand’s requirements.


Working alongside the fine creative folks at Red Tettemer, A51 built an online experience that was compelling, sticky, fresh, and constantly evolving. We had the benefit of a great story, the classic tale of good against evil fortified with surprise, discovery, competition, trend–right sensibilities, game theory, and mountains of audience insight and understanding.

Parallax user experience

The user experience was achieved by creating a unique parallax scrolling environment. Six fantasy islands were created, each existing on a separate server. Users were ushered transparently from server to server while keeping track in real–time of their buddies whereabouts — no matter which server they were on.

Enterprise level infrastructure

We developed this unique multi–user Virtual World by leveraging the SmartFoxServer platform. The architecture was unique and forward looking. We worked diligently to support the number of expected users and developed the first clustered SmartFox Server architecture in a production environment and produced a detailed white paper on just how to do it.


We had over 90,000 visits to the site in our Alpha and Beta stages. And after launch we had over 30,000 registered users in 4 weeks and over 100,000 registered users in just over 7 weeks. Visitors routinely spent an average of over 12 minutes on the site and power users spent an average of $14 a month ($4 over projections), proving that the kids where not only coming, they were engaged once they got there.