Borderlands EchoVision Live is looking to be an interesting experience as it puts the viewers in control of a Television Show while combining gamification and a social aspect. This is everything I could discover about the partnership between Genvid and Gearbox Entertainment while also looking at similar experiences by Genvid to better understand their work. Because SILENT HILL: Ascension reached over 1 Million pre-registrations before its launch and was at the top of the Apple Play Store.
Table of contents
What is Borderlands EchoVision Live?
Borderlands EchoVision Live is an interactive streaming experience by Genvid Entertainment that can be accessed through an app or website. It provides an experience that is similar to watching a TV series but with interactive components.
You get to watch scenes from the show and chat with the community. At the end of the show, you and the rest of the community get to choose how the main characters will react to the events. These choices will then impact the course of the show as the combined community determines what happens moving forward.
- The 3 choices in the Genvid Silent Hill series are Redemption, Suffering, and Damnation.
You can complete puzzles to unlock hidden lore or gain additional points to influence the show.
Some episodes will feature quick time events where the overall performance of the community will determine the morale of the character.
- This is a “Hope” meter in Genvid’s Silent Hill series and affects the character’s actions.
Unlike a Tales From The Borderlands game, there is no reset button or second playthrough. Whatever happens, happens and things will continue from there.
What is the Story of Borderlands EchoVision Live About?
Borderlands EchoVision Live explores the (mis)adventures of eight unsuspecting tourists. These wanna-bee Vault Hunters forked over their hard-earned cash for a safe guided “Adventure Safari” on Eden-6 where they follow in the footsteps of Vault Hunters and bask in their glory.
This three-week vacation turns into a permanent nightmare when the tourists find themselves stranded in the backwater town of Greywater Junction. Surrounded by cutthroats, bandits, and low-thread-count sheets, these unfortunate dilettantes must overcome their fears, failings, and greed in order to band together, rise to the occasion, and avoid the many, MANY bullets with their names on them.
What Content Can I Expect?
Content will be split up into these segments
- Video Content
- Mini Games
I think that Borderlands EchoVision Live will follow a similar content cadence as SILENT HILL: Ascension, therefore, the first scenes will be a bit bigger to get things going. SILENT HILL: Ascension dropped with 3x 8 minutes of footage as that interactive series tells the story through 3 characters, each getting their own independent scenes from each other. Since EchoVision follows 8 wanna-be Vault Hunters, I think we will see multiple groups with some having a tour guide and some being on their own. Kinda how TV shows also have segments where the whole crew is together but also have their own individual moments.
After that, you can expect daily scenes that are around 2 minutes long. I have seen daily scenes from 1,5 minutes up to 3,5 minutes. These will be streamed on work days only. SILENT HILL: Ascension started with doing content 7 days a week but after feedback, they reduced it to 5 days a week.
At the end of the week, all the scenes and choices will be combined into one big ~30-minute episode like a regular TV series.
You can catch up on videos if you aren’t able to attend these events live. Choices remain active for 24 hours.
Besides having an episode each day, you will also gain access to a puzzle or quick mini-game. With Silent Hill they are designed to be easy and will reward you with additional Influence Points, Lore, or In-Game Items.
Avatar / Character Customization
You will likely be able to create your own Avatar just as in Silent Hill Ascensions because this ties into other aspects of the experience. With a robust character creator, you can create your own character which will then be your Avatar in the live chat, however, one of the cool things in the Silent Hill game is that you can win a spot in the show. Your Avatar will then be placed in one or more scenes and might even have dialogue and a significant role.
Expect Achievements for daily logins, watching a show, completing puzzles, and other engagement activities. These can reward you with additional Influence Points and In-Game Items.
Silent Hill Ascensions is a Freemium experience. You will gain access to the daily episodes and puzzles but only a limited set of cosmetics from the character creator.
You can purchase a Season Pass that gives you access to additional items in the game and additional puzzles.
Influence Points are also available for purchase in Silent Hill Ascensions and that’s what the whole game revolves around. You need those to push your choice during the decision moments after each episode and because the Silent Hill game doesn’t have a cap on how many times you can vote but only drains your Influence Points, you can purchase your choice if you are willing to spend the money.
People with the Season Pass also have more influence as the additional puzzles provide extra Influence Points. Thereby making it a Pay-to-Win if you are able to outspend other players with a lot of money or the overall community sentiment during a plot point.
Borderlands EchoVision Live is looking to be an interesting experience that aims to deliver a new way of how we consume and engage with entertainment.
TV-land has been experimenting with second-screen experiences for a while and people do text each other during shows, kinda like a watch party. Genvid is tapping into that social aspect of consuming entertainment.
If I’m cutting corners and need to describe Borderlands EchoVision Like, I would say it’s a Tales From The Borderlands experience but the story is streamed scene for scene on a daily cadence. The community determines the outcome of the events through a poll but can also engage or influence each other using live chat.
There are interesting ways how you can participate in the show, most notably, the feature that your character could play a part in a major event during the show. However, these things look to be reserved for folks who are willing to pay up.
And there is the main feature, pay up, because this experience is monetized as a freemium mobile game. Yes, you get a few free things but if you really want to participate, you need to spend money and upgrade to the founder’s pack.
I don’t expect the hardcore Borderlands players to jump into this experience. The Tales From The Borderlands games haven’t been a massive success and EchoVision Live seems to deliver a similar experience tailored to a different entry point.
I wonder how much GenVid will tweak their Silent Hill Ascensions formula to Borderlands EchoVision Live. Maybe the nature of Borderlands is better suited for these experiences but from my understanding now, I doubt the Main Borderlands Creators will fully embrace it. EchoVision will be using 8 new characters, so folks (initially) don’t care about what happens to them, therefore, I think this will be seen as a low-effort cash grab.
Maybe if Echovision Live was about the events of Borderlands Debt or Alive and the community gets to decide what happened with Sashe and Fiona, and that outcome would be reflected in Borderlands 4. Then you have characters the community is already invested in and the stakes for the outcome have been set.
Getting to be one of the characters that helps Sasha during her journey or gets tricked by our con artist Fiona would be interesting as one of the community guest appearances.
Also, I think they should include options that utilize ads rather than solely relying on microtransactions. Things like unlocking an additional puzzle or doubling your reward points by watching an ad. Not that I’m a fan of ads but in other use cases they do add some additional value to the player while the developer has some financial gain.
However, I do hope Echovision Live is gonna be a fun experience with memorable characters that the community can rally behind because I do think it’s an interesting concept.
Let me know what you think about Echovision Live and if are you going to give it a go.