There are many approaches to connect people with games, and my own employer Zynga is an expert with many, often very successfully. The following concept is different. Radically different.

I want to build a game that is social to the core. A game that is so social it creates friendships, strengthens them, and make people laugh, cry and celebrate their journey together – in real life.

Let’s turn back the time for a moment. One of the greatest memories of my life is playing Super Mario together with my brothers. We didn’t play over a wire – we sat in front of a TV, energized and excited, and were laughing together about our wins and failures. It was the truest social moment I can recall in my time with video games. Games that are played with friends in real-life are pure magic. They’re great at parties, dinners and awesome reasons to get together – it’s the idea of a board game adapted to the TV. And boy, those games were successful. Some years ago, the Wii successfully built on this very concept and succeeded, but the Wii is fading away, and it’s unclear if Nintendo’s next console will be well suited to the job, with their weird additional hand-held screen.

The question I’ve been asking myself: Is there still room for innovation in multi-player games in your living room? Or are we living in a virtual world, where multi-player necessarily equals P2P connections and Facebook communication? I have good news – the answer to the former is yes! And even better, there’s substantial room for innovation. Meet project “Epic Journey”.

Project “Epic Journey” is a story-driven multi-player RPG that can only be played with two or more players – and they have to be in the same room, sitting on the same couch, playing together. Yes, this game cannot be played on your own, or over a network connection. “Epic Journey” has everything you expect from a great story-driven RPG (think Final Fantasy, Lost Odyssey, Dragon Quest) – a beautifully crafted story with great enemies, huge worlds and places to discover, epic quests, fantastic level ups and progression. Now recall how every great adventure – think Lord of the Rings – strengthens friendships of the ones you travel together on their journey? “Epic Journey” is bringing you one very special feature: Real-life relationship level ups. Over a course of multiple days of weeks, you and your friend(s), family, wife or husband are travelling together on an epic journey – crying, laughing, protecting and helping each other. Instead of posting your achievements to leader boards, you are sharing it all in real-time.

It’s the ultimate adventure – the journey of journeys.

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