Tuesday, May 08, 2012

In game advertising

It hasn't happened yet but we remember distinctly being distinctly worried in a very distinct fashion around the time that gaming really took off as there were rumblings of in-game advertising being explored as a thing. We were worried that if advertisers got the keys to our games, they'd end up looking as gaudy as real cities and we'd find ourselves strangely drawn to brands we'd never paid much attention to before.

Fortunately, that never really happened. Red Bull got into a couple of games, Wipeout and Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death. The brand seamlessly sat in the world of Wipeout. Not so much Judge Dredd. From what I can recall instead of making your way around generic docks and warehouses filled with normal crates, you made your way around docks and warehouses filled with Red Bull crates. Other than that I can't recall other adverts for real world brands in games (Mario Kart has in game billboards, hilariously advertising "green shells" and other levels. Hilarious is too strong. Take back hilarious). 

In fact we probably wouldn't mind these days. I don't know about you but I am practically blind to all the advertising that is beamed to my eye screens through social networks and google. We did stop playing Angry Birds though because of the adverts, the in game advertising (subtly covering a portion of the screen)  noticeably slowing the game down and if you're a fat fingered fucker like us accidentally clicking them takes you out of the game and onto the Android marketplace. Not happy. 

If your tapped into the haps of the cool and trendy you will have no doubt favourited our excellent tweet:
Pikmin 2 done. Finally. Stupid dumbbell and 100 purple Pikmin. Just in time for number 3...
 We don't want to go to hell so we weren't lying. We have literally finished Pikmin 2, hence this post about advertising. Unlike other games attempts at advertising, Pikmin 2 gets it so right. For those of you unfamiliar with the excellent (both games are in the 1001 video games you must play before you die) you take charge of Captain Olimar who corrals the Pikmin into collecting enough treasure to fix his ship and make millions back on his home world. Olimar and the Pikmin are tiny however and the treasures take on the forms of household objects. Rather than use generic household objects though, Ninty only went and got the license to use actual brands of household products. It's brilliant. Over the course of the game you collect Duracell batteries, Kiwi shoe polish, a can of Dr Pepper, Snapple and a French's mustard lid. Weird how the quotidian can seem so special, especially when you've gone through a hell of a lot of bother to organise those little bastards into collecting it and carrying back to the ship. 

That's it. What do you want? The profound on demand? We don't operate on those higher levels. We're more say what you see people.

No comments: