Universal, Google are game for 'Bourne' deal


NEW YORK -- Universal Pictures and Google announced a new online game called "The Ultimate Search for Bourne with Google" that uses such Google tools as Search, Maps, Images and YouTube and serves as a promotional vehicle for "The Bourne Ultimatum," which also features a Google placement.

In the game, inspired by all three "Bourne" films, players will assume the identity of a former CIA operative as they track rogue agent Jason Bourne across three continents. The game, which launches simultaneously Monday in seven countries and also incorporates a sweepstakes element, allows participants to answer clues that bring them one step closer to uncovering Bourne's identity. It can be played at www.google.com/bourne until the film's opening Aug. 3 and will include exclusive clips from "Bourne Ultimatum."

"This is a great opportunity for us to bring the power of Google search products to help players across the globe hunt for Bourne online," Google product manager Dylan Casey said. "We're always looking for creative and engaging ways to connect people with the information they're seeking, and this collaboration is a terrific example of that."

It is Google's second online game tied to a film release, with the first one involving Sony Pictures' "The Da Vinci Code."

Universal worked with Web design and marketing firm Big Spaceship to build the "Bourne" game, which is part of a promotional partnership with Google that did not involve any money changing hands.

"Google is continually testing ways of providing users with opportunities to access Google products, and the blue box around the 'Bourne Ultimatum' is an example of that," a Google spokesperson said.

The placement -- a screen shot of a Google search -- emerged from the discussions between Universal and Google about the game but occurred in a scene that already called for an online search, studio executives said.

Google will promote the game through search results related to the film and through its millions of users' customized iGoogle home pages.

"One of the reasons we partnered with Google is that their audience is a tech-savvy audience that's interested in entertainment like the 'Bourne' franchise," Universal Pictures senior vp digital marketing Doug Neil said. "Google's sophisticated, leading-edge technology is integrated into the game, which is right in line with what 'Bourne' is all about."

Volkswagen, whose new Touareg 2 is featured in "Bourne Ultimatum," will be providing the sweepstakes grand prize -- a 2008 Touareg 2 designed to the top-of-the-line specifications of the car seen in the movie. MasterCard, which is integrated in the game, will award one player a $1,000 MasterCard gift card each of the 15 weekdays that new clues and active game play are provided to Web site visitors. Other prizes include $25,000, 10 Apple iPhones and four trips to the winners' choice of New York, Paris, London, Madrid or Tangier -- all cities featured in the film.

The game will launch in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the U.K. and France.