The Beast is an alternate reality game developed by Microsoft to promote the 2001 film A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Entry points to the game embedded into the film's promotion centered on the fictional Jeanine Salla and the death of her friend Evan Chan. In 2142, Jeanine learns that Evan was murdered and her investigation uncovers a network of murders of humans and artificial intelligences. The game launched on March 8, 2001 and continued running past its initially scheduled end date on June 29, the film's release date. Players were led through a network of websites created by Warner Bros., registered to fake names, and further clues were given in subsequent promotional materials and events for the film. The game drew a large, tight-knit player base who created online groups dedicated to the game, most prominently the Yahoo! Group Cloudmakers. The Beast was described as "unprecedented even by Hollywood standards" and is considered among the most influential early alternate reality games.
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