When Bungie unveiled FPS turned extraction shooter Marathon, it wasn’t just looking to engage people with a hyper-stylish video; it also kicked off a whole ARG that fans have been working through, and now players have pretty much solved the whole thing and unlocked stuff along the way.
The puzzle solving looks to have taken an extremely long time (the document linked above that chronicles the process is 56 pages long, y’all) as internet sleuths followed websites, cracked ciphers, and decoded images and messages. The rewards for all of this fan effort included assets, additional lore, a physical installation found in California’s Venice Beach, a Marathon-themed emblem for Destiny 2, and two videos including the earlier ViDoc and an extra behind-the-scenes video.
While this new-look Marathon is a PvP extraction shooter, game director Christopher Barrett seems to suggest that lore and story tidbits will continue to be peppered along as it develops. “Putting players in charge of discovering and unlocking Marathon’s narrative is one of our core game principles,” says Barrett in a press release. “This interactive experience represents our commitment to rich storytelling both in and out of the game and it’s been thrilling to watch it unfold this week with community members across the world.”
For now, Marathon is currently in an alpha state and the next time it resurfaces it will do so with gameplay. We’ll just wait to see if another ARG arises at the same time, then watch as fans solve that one, too.