ABN AMRO launches the world's first mobile AR escape room

Press release -

ABN AMRO aims to attract new IT talent by cleverly applying Augmented Reality with the introduction of The Lockdown: the world's first mobile AR escape room. In this game, players are challenged to prevent a worldwide financial meltdown. Using Augmented Reality technology, The Lockdown transforms every ordinary room into a virtual escape room. The app was presented today during TNW Conference as part of the bank’s wider recruitment campaign.

The Lockdown is set in the year 2028. As money has been completely digitised, people maintain their finances with a smart contract called 'The Lantern Wallet'. When suddenly people worldwide find themselves unable to access their cryptocurrency, chaos ensues. Players have to solve challenges, with themes such as information security and blockchain, to prevent a total financial meltdown. Through several stages, the players can ultimately help Interpol pinpoint the hacker's residence. Players can select the difficulty of the game by choosing between the various available roads to victory.

Relevant to tech experts

The Lockdown is one part of ABN AMRO's ongoing recruitment campaign. “Demand for digital talent has soared over the past few years. As a bank, we’ve invested in the future to remain relevant to this target group. That requires a distinctive approach,” says Maarten Bokhoven, ABN AMRO's Head of Employer Branding. “Innovation matters a great deal to us. ABN AMRO's IT specialists deal with all kinds of substantive challenges and they have considerable social impact. We’ve designed The Lockdown to reflect all of these elements and more.”


For the strategy, concept and realisation of the game and the campaign, ABN AMRO has teamed up with CODE D'AZUR, a creative digital agency. As Jeroen Thissen, Creative Director of the agency, explains, “If you work in IT at ABN AMRO, what you're really doing is working on challenging digital innovations. On the workfloor that isn't always how it feels, however, so we wanted to change the job perception of the IT people themselves. That meant we had to catch their attention first. So with the knowledge that this target group enjoys a challenge, and has an interest in applying new technological solutions, we combined the best of both worlds. ABN AMRO chose us to build the escape room of the future. And we're thrilled to be on board.”

The game's puzzle mechanics were designed by Sherlocked, famous for its popular escape rooms in the Amsterdam Beurs van Berlage. In addition to the app, the campaign featuring The Lockdown includes online videos, rich media banners and a cinema trailer.

Blackout during TNW Conference

The launch of The Lockdown during TNW Conference, the major technology event by The Next Web, was quite literally a showstopper. A blackout was staged in the Gashouder building, midway during the conference programme. The game's hacker directly addressed the audience from big screens. Afterwards, a QR code was displayed on screen so that attendees could download the game straight away.

The Lockdown can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play Store.


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