The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was Warner Bros. Picture's most important movie release for Q4 2013. North Kingdom partnered with Google and the studios to create A Journey Through Middle-earth, an immersive web experience that celebrates the characters and locations of the movie. The hope was to generate buzz and entice moviegoers to go see the movie. The Chrome Experiment showcased the latest web technologies and the power of the Chrome browser as well as the new features of Chrome for Android.

Launch the campaign
Published
February 2014
Topics

The Story

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was Warner Bros. Picture's most important movie release for Q4 2013. North Kingdom partnered with Google and the studios to create A Journey Through Middle-earth, an immersive web experience that celebrates the characters and locations of the movie. The hope was to generate buzz and entice moviegoers to go see the movie. The Chrome Experiment showcased the latest web technologies and the power of the Chrome browser as well as the new features of Chrome for Android.

Historically, bringing interactive and multimedia-heavy web-based experiences to mobile devices was a challenge due to performance constraints, API availability, limitations in HTML5 audio on devices and lack of seamless inline video playback. But with the launch of Chrome for Android, engineers could bring the experience to mobile and build 3D graphics with CSS3 and WebGL. Though iOS lacks support for WebGL, Chrome users can still experience most parts on non-WebGL devices and browsers.

The Technology

The Results

The ability to explore Middle-earth from a bird’s-eye view was a first for this wildly enthusiastic fandom. Each location on the map provided a riveting gaming experience that engaged users for hours.

6

Explorable locations in Middle-earth

16

Million+ pageviews to date

42

Localized versions of the site around the globe

Launch Date Nov. 19, 2013