What's your favorite example of a weird brand tie-in from a video game?

Lauren Morton

Staff member

Hey there PC Gamers, are we feeling ready for the impending weekend of gaming showcases and trailers? Well hang tight because we aren't talking about that quite yet (you can listen to our predictions we made last week though). This week we're talking about weird brand tie-ins in videogames. You've seen what we're talking about: when fast food chains, energy drinks brands, and high fashion lines all manage to cram their products into a game for good or ill. Sometimes they can be kind of cool but other times we wonder who on earth okayed this?

What's your favorite example of a weird brand tie-in from a video game?​

I'm not so much talking about licensed games (looking at you, Burger King and KFC) and character crossover events (but do feel free to share the weirdest of those too) and more about things like Burberry showing up in Minecraft or that time Katy Perry had a whole DLC kit in The Sims 3. Seriously, what a weird choice. What other wacky brand insertions have you seen in your games?
It's still wild to me how many different people, characters and brands have shown up in Fortnite over the years. I guess they made that part of the identity though.

It's even wilder that Call of Duty decided to copy them and add stuff like a Nicki Minaj skin.

Also, you can't have a thread about strange collaborations and not mention this article:

All I can think of right now is the Yakuza series. They have tons of different brands, but from what I remember from playing Yakuza 0, it is not something you think about so they implemented them wisely. At least I didn't feel it affecting my gameplay experience. I guess it felt more natural since the game is about you running around in a big city where you would normally see product placement. I'm somewhat fine with product placement if it is done with fingerspitzgefühl and fits the milieu of the game.


Community Contributor
The weirdest is the energy drinks in Death Stranding, which you folks got to fast in the video.

That points out what worries me most about these things: they don't fit into many futuristic or any fantasy games. If you want your game taking place in some fantasy land, you're going to be getting zero revenue from product placement. However, if you set it up in the present, you can make a nice little side income by dropping in some Ringer Hut stores. (Yes, they are real. I thought the Yakuza games were making a joke about Pizza Hut! Japan uses weird traffic cones sometimes, too.) If this product placement gets big, publishers are going to discourage game makers from making games where they can't sell any product placement.

Oh, City of Heroes had some in-game advertising, too. However, you would only see it if you went in and turned the option to see them on. I don't think you got any benefit from it, either, other than knowing the devs would get a little more cash.

Lauren Morton

Staff member
Also, you can't have a thread about strange collaborations and not mention this article:

We did get to talk about that some; it's a great story! Very classically weird guerrilla marketing.

Speaking of crossovers, the first game on Summer Game Fest is Lego Horizon Adventure. I thought that was pretty good timing:)
Yes! What an interesting choice right? I admit I'm not very informed about the Lego crossover games other than being loosely aware people think they're pretty good, actually. And I do like HZD.


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