Hunting For Wi-Fi Treasure in Disney Parks

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While most game companies concentrate on getting their products into your hands as easily as possible (see Valve’s Steam), others are realizing that some gamers like getting content to be a bit of a game in itself. Exclusivity might be the driving force behind this approach, as opposed to ease.

We saw it last week with Microsoft’s restricted Halo 3 beta test, and now Nintendo and Disney have teamed up to offer their own hoops for gamers to jump through. Starting May 22, owner’s of the Nintendo DS game Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End will be able to unlock additional content by finding “X-marks-the-spot” hotspots at Disney theme parks.

The hotspots will be hidden near Pirates of the Caribbean attractions, and the download program to access them will be available free of charge to all Disney guests. The rewards for hunting all over the park for X’s will be anything from power-ups like unlimited health, to new content like additional costumes.

“We are committed about giving our Disney park visitors an innovative, relevant and rewarding experience every time they visit,” said Michael Mendenhall, executive vice president of global marketing for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in a statement. “As we look for new ways to enhance our guests’ visits, the Nintendo DS is a perfect fit for our program since it is popular and easy to bring to the Disney park.”

All the additional content will be free, but of course, players will still have to ante up around $29.99 for the game in the first place, and admission at some Disney parks will cost nearly twice that for one day. A cheaper way to hunt for buried treasure: rooting through the bargain bin at your local video game retailer.

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