Vidjagame Apocalypse 114 – Advergaming Hell

VGA114

When advertisers and games come together, the results are usually annoying in-game billboards, awkward insertions of commercial taglines into dialogue, or a set-up for stale jokes about Doritos and Mountain Dew. But once every 100 years (give or take), unholy pacts between ads and games create something wonderful, memorable, sometimes even playable. We count down five of our favorites in this week’s show, after which we talk about Witcher 3 (again), Ultra Street Fighter IV, Splatoon, the impending early release of Hatred, and your favorite mobile games.

Question of the Week

What’s your favorite advergame or game ad?

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17 thoughts on “Vidjagame Apocalypse 114 – Advergaming Hell

  1. OH SHIT IM FIRST.
    my favorite game “ad” is the Super Meat boy one. It parodies the old nes and snes ads while having that glorious music. Its truly a thing of beauty. Plus CCCCCCMON

  2. QotW: TMNT 2: The Arcade Game for NES. There were Pizza Hut logos strewn all over that game and it came with a Pizza Hut coupon in the box. That is some sneaky advergaming there!

    Current and last gen Sonic games make good advergames for deviant art.

  3. If Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City counts, that is my favorite product placement game. Its got wheaties and gatorade as health pickups.The speed power up shoes are probably air jordans. And on the subject of those burger king xbox games, they have some for sale at the 99cent store near my house currently.

  4. gotta be honest, when you underscore the episode with the entire Journey To Silius soundtrack I’m gonna have a hard time paying attention to the show, because those songs are just too good

  5. I’m glad someone did mention the Capn’ Crunch Crunchin’ Adventure game, but I’ll bring up all of the changing adverts in Rainbow Six Vegas where they consistently updated the game to have different ads as you played through it throughout the year. Want some Pepsi?

  6. The best advertisement for a wrestling game there has ever been is without a doubt the iconic commercial for Smackdown: Here Comes the Pain. Featuring none other than the monster of the modern era, Brock Lesnar, walking past Voldemort (AKA Chris Benoit) and the then thuganomics now ultimate “good guy” John Cena it’s full of iconic and infamous cameos. But the cherry on the top is the comedic record scratch followed by a short line from Torrie Wilson requesting that Brock Lesnar compete against her in a bra and panties match.

    Now, if I may analyze this for a moment… a few things should immediately strike you as odd. The first being that Torrie obviously has no hope of defeating the beast incarnate in any match form, much less a match where she has already lost because she isn’t wearing any clothes in the first place. Second, Brock clearly has no conceptual understanding of the rules of a bra and panties match because he declares himself the winner after apparently taking Torrie’s bra. Third, this is such a departure from modern era WWE that its almost a parody at this point when you consider how different the 2003-2004 era of WWE is from this era of WWE.

    But really, I just love this commercial because I love this game. It’s one of the best wrestling games made and if 2K were to make a virtual copy of Here Comes the Pain for current gen and PC it would sell like hotcakes.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFLDpaVtDdY

  7. QOTW: Blades of Steel, a game that promotes such other exciting Konami games with a shoddy demo of Gradius, then proceeds to show you the logos for Contra and Jackal with the promises of fantastic graphics and awesome music. A game that advertises for other games, it should’ve been Konami’s marketing pitch that could’ve saved them, but it wasn’t in their best interest to reignite that really brilliant idea.

  8. I’m so utterly indifferent to this ‘Hatred’ debacle. Like, it’s clearly the videogame equivalent of a “This Man Bought 500 Turtles, You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!” headline. Still, I’d watch a stream of it, if you guys chose to do it. Well, I’d watch the Youtube video, I’m at work during streaming time.

    Plus, good lord, do advergames have a better track record of quality than licensed games? Judging by the Top 5 and the other games mentioned, they very well might.

  9. Before most of your time there was a game for the Atari 2600 called Kool-Aid Man. It was made by Mattel. I remember I had to collect a bunch of UPC labels and then send some cash to buy the game.
    In the game you had to quench the thirsties with Kool-Aid Man. Good times!

  10. My favorite Advergame would have to be Chex Quest and it’s sequel. It gave me a way to play a Doom-like game that my mom did not mind me playing. How can anyone dislike a game where you play as someone who is wearing armor that looks like a gigantic Corn Chex.

  11. QotW

    My favourite game ad has to be the Halo 3 beta PSA made by Rooster Teeth. IDK if it technically counts as an ad, but it was made specifically to promote the Halo 3 beta so I think it should. Rooster Teeth’s Halo Reach gamestop ad might be a better fit for the question, but this one is much better.

    Halo 3 Beta PSA

    Other than that, I really like the WATCH_DOGS Digital Shadow site which connects to your Facebook profile and tells you things to really creep you out like who would be the best person for someone to kidnap to make you more receptive to ransom demands etc.

    WATCH_DOGS Digital Shadow

    P.S. Please don’t hate me because I haven’t listened to the episode yet! I always do though I promise, I just usually forget to answer the questions and I’m always sad when I don’t get to.

  12. Anybody got any humorous examples of product placement in regular games? One that sticks with me is the inclusion of SoBe vending machines in Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee. I also love the “Take me to KFC/Pizza Hut/Tower Records!” in Crazy Taxi.

  13. Splatoon is a “pussy way of making a shooter”, huh? Yeah, how dare it try to do something different than every other CoD clone out there.

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