The world surrounding Power Up has just got a big injection of new content. PokerStars recently updated their Power Up webpages, and it includes a new promotional video that gives us a much bigger view into the universe that Power Up exists in.
The video itself, as you’d expect from PokerStars, is very professional, slick, and very well put together. It’s in an Anime style that should appeal to a lot of people that have been missed by previous poker marketing. This group of potential players are the people playing Hearthstone, Overwatch, League of Legends and have subscriptions to the “Anime Netflix,” Crunchyroll. Their experience of poker is very limited, and probably doesn’t extend much beyond the Hollywood perception of the game or the family home-game during the holidays. These are the new players that should be the lifeblood of the game, so I’m over the moon that this promotional video appears to be targeted at them.
The video itself shows a truncated story of one of the Power Up Avatars, Charlotte Nagy, from her beginnings as a fan travelling to work (it seems to a space mine), to winning the championship. It’s a good hook into the game and seems to be taking from the success of the Overwatch short films, which was the direction I hoped they were taking.
The internet of this world, Continuous Presence (CP), is a bit part of this short film. Charlotte watches the championships using it, and it seems that several of the other players are playing through CP rather than attending events in person. The film does seem to contradict the profile of Charlotte that’s in the client, as no mention is made of her working in a mining job, only her current job as a Senior Engineer designing Submersible systems. This is an easy fix and doesn’t really take away from the content.
The wackier side of Power Up is also shown with the inclusion of Murray Hoarsebark, a Power Up playing dog. He’s shown losing with a junk hand as Charlotte wins the event by upgrading her pair of kings into a straight. Probably not a winning play in the long run, but situationally, you can’t argue with her results.
The film also gives little hints of further content. Miles Legend is called Charlotte’s “Master” and she is described as his “Student.” It seems that there is a deeper story here to uncover, and hopefully we’ll learn more as more films are released.
There are also glimpses that there may be more playable characters to be added to the game. On the leader board shown in the film, Bella, Panda, Sage 13, Unicorn and Alastair are all shown, with avatar images as well as names. Could be that these will be added in future releases, and Bella is probably “Bella Farscent,” another canine player mentioned in Murray’s character profile. Looks like we may have only seen the tip of Power Up’s Iceberg of content, and more is currently hidden under the surface.
In all, I think this is a great direction for Power Up marketing, it also adds a lot to the lore surrounding the game. It’s a lot easier to get people to buy in to an animated universe that it is to give them glimpses of it through snippets of written content.
I hope that PokerStars continue in this vein, maybe giving backstory short films for each character in the game, like Overwatch has done. This doesn’t need to connect with the game, but it can give players an emotional attachment with the characters and universe that Power Up has created.
What do you think? Comment below or join the discussion in our Discord channel.