OK, so I'm kind of going out on a limb here by posting this, but I can't help but be intrigued by a bit of mail that showed up at Giant Bomb today. At first glance, it appears to just be a brochure for Bright Dawn Treatment Center, whose slogan is "It's Always Darkest Before Dawn!" Initially I figured we had just managed our way onto some weird mailing list, but there were a few clues that suggested this wasn't on the up-and-up.
For starters, the phone number on the brochure is (881) 222-6666--a pretty conspicuous number for sure, and one that, when dialed, doesn't actually go anywhere. There's also an address for Pelf, Michigan on the brochure, which Google Maps insists isn't a real place, and similar searches for Bright Dawn Treatment Center came up with no substantive results. The real clincher, though, was the included note encouraging us to send back the included postcard if we were interested in Bright Dawn's services, which was signed by one Dr. A. Mynd Faulker, Psy.D. Say that name out loud a few times, and it should be pretty clear that someone's playing games.
So, what does it all mean? Well, the first theory in the office was that this was for Alan Wake, though the included postcard featured a PO Box address in Grapevine, Texas, a town which SouthPeak Interactive happens to have offices in. An inquiry to the PR team that handles SouthPeak games produced little more than a coy response, which I'll call confirmation enough.
I'm usually not huge on viral marketing or ARGs, but I have to admit that this was done convincingly enough that I'm willing to bite. I'll be sending off the postcard tomorrow, though I suspect we'll hear something once E3 kicks off. In the meantime, check out the materials we received and get to speculating!