Marketing in Games

Hey Leah! Don’t read this! 🙂

I’ve been thinking the last couple of days about marketing within games. On the XBox, all the ‘real world’ games that I’ve played (sports & driving games) contain vast amounts of advertising for real-world products. No longer do see ads for mythical ‘super-cola!’, but actual coke ads, or goodyear ads, etc. And with a second thought, this makes sense. Why? Because the video game market is so enormous. In addition, it costs a hell of a lot to make a modern video game, not just in programmers, but often in scoring and voice-acting (or even video-acting) too. And so why not defray the costs of some of these with a little product placement or advertising? You’ve got a completely captive audience.

On Sunday, I played Trivial Pursuit 20th anniversay edition. During the course of play, I became increasingly disturbed by what felt like advertising in the game. There were 3 questions where the answer linked Viagra to Pfizer. The answer to another question was ‘Claritin’. I’m pretty sure there was at least one more question/answer combo that we read that was related to a pharmaceutical company. Which makes me highly suspicious of the game now. Is whomever owns Trivial Pursuit owned by a pharmaceutical company? What other sort of advertising will crop up in this game as I play it more?

6 Replies to “Marketing in Games”

  1. One question in the 20th Edition apparently was “What’s the first video game console, launched in 2001, to feature a built in hard drive and broadband connection?”
    And the answer on the back of the card says “Gamecube”. Which, of course, is the wrong answer.

    Maybe Nintendo pay them to lie? 🙂

  2. One question in the 20th Edition apparently was “What’s the first video game console, launched in 2001, to feature a built in hard drive and broadband connection?”
    And the answer on the back of the card says “Gamecube”. Which, of course, is the wrong answer.

    Maybe Nintendo pay them to lie? 🙂

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