Product Placement in Video Games is Getting RIDICULOUS

5. Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory (PS2/Gamecube/XBOX/PC)


Product Placement Includes:
  • Axe Deodorant
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Sprite
The marketing team for Axe products is really trying to push this name brand down the throats of video gamers, it seems. Developer Ubisoft has made a serious effort in order to integrate consumer products in a thoughtful way in order to "enhance the realism of the game." Makes sense, since just about every game out there has Axe products written all over it.

4. Phantasy Star Portable 2 (PSP)

phantasy star pizza hut.jpg

Product Placement Includes:
  • Pizza Hut
In Phantasy Star Portable 2 for the PSP, publisher Sega filled the fantasy universe in the game with all sorts of Pizza Hut-related locations and memorabilia. Players are able to visit a virtual Pizza Hut in space, and purchase Pizza Hut-themed weapons and accessories. Talk about cheesy.

3. Sneak King/Big Bumpin'/Pocketbike Racer (XBOX)

Product Placement Includes:
  • Burger King Food
Originally intended to be downloadable-only games, Burger King decided to release the games on disc because of the unexpected high quality of the games. Released as a set of three different games, The King Games are basically digital advertisements of Burger King restaurants. In Sneak King, players take control of Burger King's creepy as hell mascot. The point of the game is to stalk hungry pedestrians, and scare the crap out of them with hamburgers. Creepy? Hell yes. Effective advertising? Of course. Players most likely will never forget these games, for better or worse.

2. Metal Gear Solid Series (PS2/PS3)

MGS Axe.jpg

Product Placement Includes:
  • Playboy Magazine
  • CalorieMate cheese block
  • Sony Ericsson W62S cellular phone
  • iPod
  • Six Axis Controller
  • Mountain Dew
  • Pepsi
  • Doritos
  • Axe Deodorant (again, seriously?)
The Metal Gear Solid Series is infamous for having a ridiculous amount of product placement, often in very humorous situations. In Metal Gear Solid 4, for example, Snake can equip an iPod to listen to music in order to regain health. Playboy Magazines can be used to distract guards. Whenever Snake is wandering around in the jungle during the 1970s, he can even find a bag of Doritos lying around for nourishment.

So what gives? What is with all of these brand name products littered in a video game series that is typically filled with themes of war and politics? According to series creator Hideo Kojima's Twitter:
"It's because I want to surprise players. If there's no surprise or freshness, then I'll stop the tie-ins. It's different from Hollywood-style merchandising."

1. Burnout Paradise (PS3/XBOX360)


Product Placement Includes:
  • Presidential Candidate Barack Obama
The 1964 "Daisy Girl" commercial, believed by many to be America's most powerful presidential campaign ad, featured an innocent girl picking flower petals in a pristine field moments before a nuclear explosion. Without using many words, the ad was powerful, and invoked fear to the American people if they did not vote for presidential candidate Johnson.

That stuff is old news. Today, we have President Obama advertising in video games.

Between October 6 to November 3, 2008, Barack Obama's presidential campaign team spent $44,465.78 in order to run in-game advertisements in various games, such as Burnout Paradise. Not a bad deal, considering it can cost several million dollars to run a 30-second ad on TV. Times sure have changed, haven't they?

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