Product placement is certainly not a new idea; nearly every single frame of every Hollywood movie has been sold to companies wanting to implant their products in the minds of their audiences.
While movies and music have been prone to product placement for years, it seems that when it comes to gaming it’s either ridiculously over the top, or in certain cases, tastefully done.
Let’s take a look at five games that are ridiculous examples of product placement.
Cool Spot – 1993
The idea of Cool Spot sounds like a game; a loveable red spot wearing sunnies and some sweet sneakers goes on an adventure at the beach, running and jumping his way to the end of each stage. Six-year-old me wanted this game so badly after reading about it in a magazine, but little did I know that it was a game fuelled by carbonated fluids from the gods.
7-Up, you know, that crappy Sprite rip-off that they served at KFC and Pizza-Hut back in the day? They paid for this game to become a reality. Apparently that little red circle on their bottles was named “Cool Spot” and he enjoyed a brief stint as a character with arms and legs, which according to Virgin Interactive, was a good enough excuse to make a game.
Sad thing is, it was actually a decent title.
Chex Quest – 1996
What happens when you take a violent shooter (at the time at least) and mix it with your favourite breakfast cereal? You’ll probably have some kind of strange chocolate/blood flavoured milk, but you could also have Chex Quest.
A complete re-vamp of the Ultimate DOOM Engine, Chex Quest was the first game to be included in cereal boxes as a prize, and somehow has a strange cult following among gamers to this day.
Dairy Queen Tycoon – 2008
Remember Rollercoaster Tycoon? Remember how that was an actual game with clout? Well throw that idea out the window and check out Dairy Queen Tycoon!
The title features all the mainstays of the series, allowing children to create a store and sell all their favourite Dairy Queen deserts. Sounds tasty!
It caused controversy in the US as it appeared in the Scholastic book flyers handed out at schools across the country. Parents were concerned that a game that promotes the eating of such unhealthy food constantly would have negative effects.
M&M’s Break ‘Em – 2007
While most of these games filled with product inception appeared on PC, this bad boy appeared on the Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance. Starring everyone’s favourite Red and Yellow chocolate buttons, this game was filled to the brim with an uninspired puzzle game that simply made you want to eat more M&M’s.
DAMN YOU GAME! THIS IS WHY I’M SO FAT!
Mad Mix – The Pepsi Challenge – 1988
Mad Mix was a fairly respected game back in the day which played similarly to Pac-Man. Our bets are that Pac-Man and his wife ate all their profits, so they turned to a giant corporation who was trying to prove that they were cutting edge and “cool” to beat their competitors.
Mad Mix – The Pepsi Challenge was born. Featuring the same style gameplay Mad Mix was known for, it featured a number of plugs to that black sludge that wishes it was Coca-Cola.
There are countless other interesting and down-right strange product-based games out there – so let us know your favourites in the comments below!