HarperCollins, one of the largest commercial book publishers in the UK, is pushing the paperback launch of Derek Landy’s ‘Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing with Fire’ novel, the hotly anticipated sequel to last year’s most successful children’s debut, Skulduggery Pleasant; with a new viral game, The Munchkin Army -www.skulduggerypleasant.co.uk/munchkinarmy.

Created by digital creative marketing agency, Hyperlaunch - a member of Digital Marketing Group plc, the Munchkin Army aims to drive awareness and sales for Skulduggery Playing with Fire by building on the success of ‘The Quest’ game used to promote the Skulduggery Pleasant debut - also created by Hyperlaunch.

Skulduggery Pleasant Playing with Fire is a truly genre-busting book best described as a comic horror adventure, featuring Derek Landy’s irresistible character, the wise-cracking, sophisticated and oh-so-well dressed Skulduggery Pleasant. A powerful magician with a particular penchant for fire, a master of dirty tricks and an ace burglar, he’s also very dead. He and his sidekick Stephanie thought that they had saved the world. But that’s before the notorious Baron Vengeous shows up, along with a lot of dead bodies and vampires proving to be the duos biggest challenge yet.

In the game, the player is invited to join Skulduggery Pleasant’s Munchkin Army, a league of warrior mages and combat sorcerers, in defending the world from the threat of the Faceless Ones and their disciples. Under Mr Bliss, Council of The Elders, the player’s challenge is to hone their skills by battling against others to improve their magic, strength, stealth, speed and intelligence, winning battles and completing secret missions to move up the ranks to become a master and reach the final prize. Players gain recognition by recruiting others to join the fight and those who train hard are richly rewarded with points and real-world rewards.

Players choose their ‘Munchkin Army -self’ – bold and brutish or pretty and serene to fool their opponents; and distribute their points on their Munchkin Army battle card – this card is then used to battle against opponents, and can also be used as a profile picture on the player’s social network.

The game will be promoted through an exclusive cartoon, the first section of which will feature in an advertisement in Dr Who magazine. Readers will need to log on to www.skulduggerypleasant.co.uk/comic, where they will find out what happens next and be introduced to The Munchkin Army.

As players move through the game they are tasked with ‘Missions’ to complete in the real world to ‘warn others of the coming of the Facless Ones.’ Tasks include creating posters, holding a Munchkin Army party, befriending a skeleton and reading their favourite passage out loud in a strange place. Users are encouraged to share their creativity by uploading pics and videos to Flickr and YouTube channels.

Tom Conway, Digital Marketing Manager, Harper Collins Childrens Books said of the game, “With the Munchkin Army we wanted to create an experience that would enrich the world of Skulduggery for our 20,000 registered users, whilst encouraging them to share their passion with potential new readers. We worked closely with Hyperlaunch to create a unique game that continues even after you’ve turned off your computer. The Munchkin Army rewards existing fans with a rich, fun and exciting adventure whilst introducing newcomers to a strange and intriguing new world.”

About Hyperlaunch

Back in 2001 Jon Morgan, James Humphrey and Mark Birch came together to co-found Hyperlaunch, a digital creative marketing agency with a difference.

The agency brings together leading-edge creative and innovative online marketing solutions to create great campaigns that help clients launch their products and services in the ever-morphing digital world.

Today, Hyperlaunch is a perfectly formed team of 40, with a raft of blue-chip clients on its books, including Channel 4, Warner Bros, Universal Music and Harper Collins.

In 2007 Hyperlaunch joined Digital Marketing Group plc and leads Noize, (www.noizedigital.com), the group’s digital PR division. www.hyperlaunch.com

About Digital Marketing Group:

Hyperlaunch is a member of the Digital Marketing Group which specialises in digital marketing. Digital Marketing Group plans, creates and executes communications across digital channels using the principles and skills of direct and database marketing

For more information please visit: www.digitalmarketinggroup.co.uk.

For further information on Hyperlaunch, please contact:
Kirsty Langan, PR consultant to Hyperlaunch
E: Kirsty.langan@googlemail.com, M: 07779 583 594

Published on: 12:00AM on 11th September 2008