In the past few decades video games have surpassed movies in their marketability. Inevitability, this lead to some of the more unsavory promotional tools such as product placement in its story line. While some instances of product placement and cute and quirky, others are just downright shameful. Here are some of them and where they appear.
One of the earliest iterations of video game product placement occurred back in 1984. Skips Crisps, a food item in the UK by KP Snacks makes an appearance. Obscure as this product may be, at the very least it made digital history.
Fight Night Round 3
Dodge signs are placed throughout this fighting game, but most notably, the Burger King himself is there to cheer you on as you fight for your title.
Aside from the slew of songs promoted in the game, America’s favorite chicken fried garbage made an appearance. KFC returned the favor by promoting it’s own guitar hero value pack meal during its release.
This entire game is just one giant promotional product packaged as a video game. Nothing else needs to be said.
Ditto to the concept above, but replace pizza with 7-Up soda.
Metal Gear Solid 3
What many gamers don’t know is that the Calorie Mate ration is an actual product in Japan. This inevitably led to an entire Codec conversation dedicated to energy bar. The most mind-numbing part about it was that Calorie Mate is anachronistic to the period in “Snake Eater.” To those that are curious, Calorie Mate is available to in Japanese convenience stores in Los Angeles and select parts of America.
Metal Gear Solid 4
The Regain energy drink that replenishes Old Snake’s psyche isn’t another invention. Again, it’s another drink particular to Japanese shores.
Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker
You can notice a pattern here already. Hideo Kojima must be rolling in serious dough from exploiting the consumer tastes of his fans. Peace Walker doesn’t feature just one, two, or even three promotional products, but a whole slew of them. Mountain Dew, Doritos Chips, Sony Walkman, and Axe Body Spray are just some of the products featured in the Japanese release.
The Yakuza videogames is true to life when it comes to detailing the streets of Tokyo. It should be predictable then that it would feature it’s share of real locations and products particular to Japan like Don Quixote, Club Sega, Vitamin C.C. Lemon, Suntory Liquors, Japanese magazines, and Boss Coffee are just some of the products that make appear in-game.
The entire series was produced by the American Army with the deliberate aim of recruiting young men into its folds. While we’re going to try to remain unpartisan in this, we have to at least note that this game has anti-war activist’s panties tied in a bundle.