Wiki Headlines
We've switched servers and will be updating the old code over the next couple months, meaning that several things might break. Please report issues here.

main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Product Placement: Video Games

Sometimes entire games are product placement, with the corporate Mascot as the playable character:

  • The circle on a can of 7-Up has been the subject of no less than three video games:
    • Spot: The Video Game - which was a reskinned Ataxx for NES.
    • Cool Spot - for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, which was a surprisingly good platformer. The European versions, however, changed all 7-Up elements except for Spot itself; this included recoloring a giant soda bottle red (this is because in Europe 7-Up's mascot was a character named Fido Dido, whom North Americans may know best from a series of commercial bumpers during CBS Saturday morning cartoons in the early 90s, or a stand alone Sega Genesis game in 1993 that lacked product placement).
    • Spot Goes To Hollywood - for Sega Genesis and the original Playstation, was Cool Spot's underwhelming sequel.
  • Avoid The Noid for the Commodore 64 and Yo! Noid for the NES (Domino's Pizza). The latt happened to be a localized version of Masked Ninja Hanamaru in Japan. This explains why the abilities and mechanics don't fit in with the Domino's character.
  • McDonaldland, a.k.a. MC Kids, for NES, Amiga, and Commodore 64 (McDonald's) averts this somewhat, in that Ronald McDonald is only an NPC. Even still, it's a game entirely based around Product Placement: if the title didn't give it away, the fact that the Follow the Money items are the trademark golden arches should.
    • There was also McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure for the Sega Genesis, developed by Treasure when they were newly incorporated and needed the money.
  • Nearly every sports game, the "product" being the relevant organization.
  • The infamous Burger King games, one of which you play as the King and hide in porta-potties and trash cans to deliver hamburgers to people.
  • Every company that could afford it opened a video game division in the days of Atari, prior to The Great Video Game Crash of 1983. As mentioned on that page, it got to the point where Quaker Oats had a videogame division.
  • Kaneko made two Chester Cheetah games for the SNES and Genesis: Wild Wild Quest and Too Cool to Fool.
  • Chex Quest. You'd probably not expect somebody to take the extremely violent computer game Doom, turn it into a family-friendly advertisement for a cereal, and then package it free with said cereal as a sales incentive, but that's exactly what happened. That being said, the game still plays like Doom, with (barring the complete thematic facelift) only some minor changes to gameplay, so it actually plays pretty well.
  • NERF N-Strike, by Hasbro, features their famous foam dart blasters in a First-Person Shooter on the Wii. It even comes with a fully functional N-Strike Blaster that you can detach the barrel/plunger assembly from so that you can dock a Wii Remote in it to turn it into a gun-controller!

Video Game Examples:

  • Nintendo's 1080° Snowboarding had characters wearing brand-name clothes while riding brand-name snowboards, the sequel even had brand-name music and a music video.
  • Alan Wake:
    • He only trusts Energizer batteries to fight the forces of darkness—when he isn't answering his Verizon phone, that is.
    • The game actually has two real commercials that can be watched right in the middle of it by turning on a TV while fleeing the Dark Presence. You apparently get an achievement for watching it.
    • Even more extreme, the DLC "The Signal" is basically an interactive commercial that players pay for. The titular signal is a cellphone signal, and there's one cutscene in which a Verizon spins and falls to the ground in slow motion, with the screen pointing towards the camera. When Alan answers it, the voice on the other end actually says "Can you hear me now"?
    • Much of the DLC involves following a GPS signal. If you watch the objective compass, you'll notice that it goes haywire every few minutes. Admittedly, this is because the Dark Presence is rearranging the dreamscape, but it doesn't exactly reassure players about the reliability of Verizon's GPS capabilities.
      • Strangely, the battery pickups in the DLC chapters are generic instead of Energizer-branded.
  • Battlefield 2142 has billboards on many of its maps, served with real ads like a 3D-rendered page banner. The ads were targeted, so each player would see something different in the same space. Penny Arcade makes light of it here.
  • The PAL version of the Biker Mice from Mars SNES game featured a ridiculous amount of advertising for Snickers. Sure, it's made by M&M/Mars, but why the candy company in question didn't advertise their Mars bars instead is anyone's guess...
  • Lots in Brigade E5: Faber Castell pencils in the cinematics, American Express credit cards, and those ammo boxes (Federal Classic, Brown Bear, Wolf Performance Ammunition, etc) are the real thing.
  • City of Heroes recently introduced "optional in-game advertising" which replaces some of the fictional advertisements found throughout the city with those of real products. At the time of this writing, only one real advertisement is available: a giant picture of a shoe with the words "Jeter Clutch" above and to the left of it. Unlike in most cases, most fans are all for this. Ads = Money = Game will continue to be developed. Unfortunately, most companies seem reluctant to jump on this.
  • The music video to the Clazziquai song "Flea" has several shots of a PSP running DJMAX Portable Clazziquai Edition (or rather, a prototype as the game wasn't released yet when the video was shot). Not surprisingly, an edited version of the video was used as the intro movie for DJMPCE.
  • Crackdown had prominent billboards which changed depending on which sponsor was supporting them. At the moment, since there are no sponsors, they instead display some leaderboard statistics which scroll when you look directly at them. They take a moment to load, so the placeholder image is used until the leaderboard results are ready - a billboard for the 2007 Dodge Caliber.
    • For a while Saints Row 2 featured these as well except for current movies instead . Eventually they were replaced with ones advertising in game stuff once the game stopped getting sponsored.
    • At least the first Prototype had similarly changing ads and billboards for the the ingame representation of New York.
  • Inverted in Crazy Taxi: Sega had to pay to use the logos of Pizza Hut, KFC, Levi Strauss, The GAP, etc.
  • Crude Buster: In between stages in the Japanese arcade version, the characters beat up a Budweiser vending machine for drinks. "Power Cola" replaces Budweiser in all other versions.
  • Dewy's Adventure features product placement for Aquapod bottled water in some of its cutscenes. Dewy is a living water droplet, so it makes sense... sort of.
  • Devil May Cry 2 has alternate costumes that were based on actual brand clothing designed by a company called Diesel, which helped promote the game in Japan.
  • Die Hard Trilogy 2 has Whoop Ass! energy drinks.
  • Disneys Extreme Skate Adventure has a few. The Olliewood level has a few posters for Radio Disney. Plus there's a Nokia store and a McDonald's in it too (the latter is part of a goal where you deliver food as well)
  • The Guitar Hero spinoff, DJ Hero 2 has The Altitude stage, which is ALWAYS used when you enable Party Play, littered with Coca-Cola logos.
  • Drac's Night Out, a never-released game dug out from its grave by The Angry Video Game Nerd, used Reebok shoes as a powerup. The Nerd took this to its natural conclusion with a mock ad for said shoes, because you're shit without them.
  • The futuristic racer Extreme-G 2 featured billboards for Diesel clothing in the city track.
  • Along with crappy non-branded cars and trucks, Far Cry 2 had the Jeep Wrangler and Jeep Liberty(?) as drivable cars. Which creates a weird scenario where soldiers in a war-torn (and UN Arms Embargoed) African nation are driving brand new Jeeps. You even get a nice good look at the 3.7L engine when they break down.
  • The Xbox 360 version of FIFA 2008 contains PlayStation 3 ads. Apparently, Sony is a FIFA sponsor, and you have to have ads of sponsors in a FIFA game. Oh, the irony.
  • Fight Night Round 3 from EA Games has quite a bit; while usually themed with the sport (boxing), it seems a bit out of place where one cutscene is an actual ad for a Dodge of some sort. And for some reason Dodge has branched out from making things like cars to things like... um, boxing gloves?. In addition to Dodge, The Burger King is an unlockable character. Yes, that Burger King. Also unlockable is "Big E", the gigantic mascot for Under Armor. And his main rival, Goliath, a fat white guy who's a brazenly obvious Take That at Nike.
  • The website of Gaia Online frequently accepts sponsorships from bigger corporations to help keep their servers running, which in return get to advertise to Gaia users, usually by offering promotion items to users who watch an advertisement. A lot of Gaia, particularly the GCD, complains about this. Biggest "offenders" are:
    • Skittles, who did a flood of games with Skittles-based prizes (including prized heterochromia eyes), sponsored an entire dance venue at the 2009 prom event, and occasionally take over Daily Chance.
    • MTV, who sponsor a gold store run by an NPC who is supposedly an extra from their show The Hills, in addition to the "watch an ad for this show/movie, get an item" route. And three of the items in that store are Gaia Cash only. That's right, you have to pay real money to Gaia Online to buy their advertisements for MTV.
    • OmniDrink, full stop. Oh, wait, April Fools'...
    • Verizon, who stuck a "message in a bottle" minigame into everybody's Aquariums. They're also chief sponsors of the Cinema feature.
    • In fact, Gaia is known for it's utterly bizarre product placement at times. A female only environment dedicated to leg razors (saved primarily due to massive amounts of Mr. Fanservice), a flash environment with a stealth deodorant ad you wouldn't even notice if you weren't paying attention, a temporary shop containing only three pieces of formalwear that vanished about a month before the actual prom event began, and those ads for Monster Learning that keep popping up and bugging everyone every so often. The reasoning for the occasional oddities in sponsorships lies in the fact that Advertising Agencies decide what Gaia will advertise at any given time. When a new company starts doing business with Gaia, they typically give them a throwaway brand to advertise. As a result, users see announcements for the crappy products before they can see the good stuff. The upside to all of this sponsorship frenzy is that Gaia doesn't have to rely on parody to give users long requested cosplay items, like Hogwarts Robes, or Sparkly Vampire Skin.
  • Meta? One of the goals in Golden Eye 1997 is a security tape. In a box. Looking at the tape in your inventory will reveal it spinning, like many objects. The front is a promo for the Golden Eye movie. True, they did have the rights to the image... but...
  • The Gran Turismo series is chock-full of in-game advertising, justified because they're the racing teams' sponsors. Example include the Audi R8 (Infineon), the JGTC Loctite Skyline, the Mercedes-Benz 190E (Hugo Boss), the Audi TT-R Touring Car (Red Bull and Walkman), the McLaren F1 GTR Race Car (Petrofina), and the BMW V12 LMR (Dell). And on top of that, there's a Gran Turismo 4 ad within Gran Turismo 4: the Playstation Pescarolo C60.
  • The Guitar Hero series:
    • In the original Guitar Hero, the only notable licenses in the game were the music and Gibson brand guitars. Other instruments were Brand X models (such as Synth-o-tron keyboards), and one concert advertised "Fake Skateboards".
    • Guitar Hero 2 expanded the instrument and music equipment licensing (which included Ernie Ball strings, Roland keyboards, and more) and even worked it into the storyline - as your band got more famous, you could "milk your sponsors" for more and more money.
    • Guitar Hero 3 marks the switch to Activision, where the product placements started to balloon out of control. A prominent advertisement for 5 Gum was on the song selection screen, the music video took place on the "Pontiac Stage", there were special "Axe Effect" guitars...
    • Likewise, Guitar Hero World Tour had a massive billboard for Subway $5 footlongs on one particular venue, not to mention the venue dedicated to AT&T. It wouldn't be so bad if 5 Gum, Subway and AT&T had ANYTHING to do with music.
    • Additionally, starting with World Tour, you can build your own in-game guitar, including real guitar string brands, which have NO effect at all and exist solely for Product Placement.
  • Hot Shots Tennis: Get a Grip is sponsored by Adidas (the PS2 HST didn't have any sort of sponsorship deal), so there are Adidas logos all over the place - on flags, on the courts, in the locker rooms, and on some of the clothing options in the Pro Shop.
  • Justified and exaggerated in Jet Moto, as it's meant to appear like a sanctioned racing tournament. All riders are sponsored, all bikes are covered in livery for companies such as Butterfinger or Mountain Dew, and every course is plastered with billboards. The Mountain Dew logo even appears on the cover of the third game (as part of a bike's paint job).
  • Enter the Matrix had a deal with Powerade. As such, there are Powerade vending machines all over the game.
  • The advertising continued in The Matrix Revolutions, leading to a visually bizarre chase scene through a grimy, run-down subway station peppered with bright-neon-green Powerade billboards.
  • Mario Kart 8, with the collaboration of Nintendo and Mercedez-Benz, will receive free DLC containing kart body and wheels based on the Mercedez-Benz GLA for every region in late 2014.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Metal Gear 2, which was set in 1999, had the MSX. Snake even lampshades it by complaining about the computers being everywhere, saying that the only people who still use them are 'freaks'. This line was removed from the slightly modernized version available on the Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence disc, since it was no longer funny.
    • The "Book" in Metal Gear Solid 2 was actually an issue of FHM, and the pinups were often of FHM centrefolds and in one case, an FHM cover (showing Charlie's Angels, appropriately). In Substance the license expired and the posters were replaced, but the FHM cover remained on the Book's texture itself.
    • A chocolate-flavored CalorieMate Block shows up as a usable item in Metal Gear Solid 3, fully restoring Naked Snake's stamina when consumed. This is amazing, considering that the game takes place in Soviet territory in 1964, two decades and half a continent before CalorieMate came to market.
    • Metal Gear Solid 4:
      • All of Otacon's computers are Macs. In the first cutscene in his "office", Otacon clearly has at least one Mac Pro, an iMac (the recent version that looks like a monitor with a little base), several MacBook Pros, and an iPod. Considering that this installment is set circa 2014, it seems like a minor anachronism, but anything in service to marketing!
      • Also, don't you think there's something just a little bit interesting about having Snake whore out Apple products?
      • There's also a PlayStation 3 sitting on one of the tables in the Nomad; it's on the floor above the cargo hold where Otacon's workstation is set up. Sunny pulls a PSP out of a box, too.
      • Snake has an iPod, the unbranded "book" of previous games is now a Playboy, and at one point Otacon breaks the fourth wall to talk up the PS3's Blu-ray drive.
      • Vamp's cell phone is a Sony model.
      • Several other products are prominently displayed, including Sony Ericsson phones, ReGain energy drinks, and as a friendly Shout-Out to their competitor Ubisoft, you can unlock Altair's costume from Assassin's Creed I for camouflage.
    • Somewhat subverted as in one of the MGS4 INTEGRAL podcasts in-game, they admitted that the developers didn't want a generic MP3 player. At least, according to the yanks.
    • There was a depressingly large fanboy wankstorm over the announcement of product placement in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, which involved Axe, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Bon Curry, Doritos, several Japanese magazines including Famitsu, WALKMAN, Uniqlo, Assassins Creed II and VOCALOID. The last four references remained in the International versions (WALKMAN is owned by Sony, KojiPro's parent company; Uniqlo is trying to peddle tie-in t-shirts in the States, too; Assassin's Creed 2 spawned an in-game "Straw Box" item too specific to bother changing, not to mention that Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood poked back at MGS the same year with a cardboard box gag and an unlockable Raiden costume; and VOCALOID was actually important to the plot) but the rest were removed and swapped with amusing Bland-Name Product versions. In particular, the replacements for the magazines (now Solid Mag, Liquid Mag, and Solidus Mag) are Take Thats at the original magazines they're based on ("Most of the stories are about men fighting Martians and were written by talentless amateurs"), and the description for the "Cologne" makes snide comments about the Axe advertising campaigns.
    • In Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Big Boss wears an early 1980s Seiko digital watch, with the watch face prominently shown during a timeskip sequence in the E3 trailer.
  • Dummied Out example: one of the many things from Resident Evil 1.5 that didn't make it into the final version was a for-reals Pepsi machine in one hallway of the precinct. It got changed into a Bland-Name Product for the finished game, and then that got removed from later editions for coming too close to infringing on Coca-Cola's likeness.
  •'s "8 Bits" video features The Great Giana Sisters.
  • NCAA Football video game series:
    • They have the Cadillac Game Changing Performance at the end of every game. Notably, the one replay you can't skip is the one that has the Cadillac logo plastered at the top-left of the screen, which is authentic to the actual broadcasts.
    • They also have the red-zone efficiency report brought to you by Old Spice Red Zone deodorant— "When performance matters the most!"
    • They want you to know it's sponsored by Coke Zero.
    • Madden NFL includes a ton of Snickers product placement, right down to an awesome draftable rookie who just happens to have the same name as Patrick Ewing's character in their commercials. Are you ready for the CHOMPETITION?
  • EA's Need for Speed franchise is one big exercise in car and music product placement:
    • Underground 2, just to name a few, had Snoop Dogg, Mudvayne and Xzibit (while still on his Pimp My Ride fame) in the soundtrack, had some Burger Kings and Best Buys scattered around the map, the Cingular logo at the corner of the HUD and billboards from tens of advertisers all over the place. It was so excessive that it won Gamespot's "Most Despicable Use of In Game Advertising" "award" in 2004.
    • Every single aftermarket component you can put on your vehicles, from turbochargers to car seats, is an actual product made by an actual company.
    • The T-Mobile adverts in HP2010.
    • And to note, musical placement didn't start until atleast Hot Pursuit 2 with songs like The People That We Love by Bush, and The Hot Action Cop songs. (Although, the original, dirty lyrics were changed to car-themed ones)
    • In games around the late 2000's, such as Pro Street, special cars that were either obtainable at some point in the game, obtainable via a cheat code, or purchasable via an online marketplace, had sponsor-based liveries such as for Energizer and Progressive.
    • Speaking of Pro Street, one of the achievements on the Xbox 360 version involved the player wrecking a car for the first time. The achievement, was, word for word, "Brought to you by Progressive Insurance!"
  • Several old Famicom games had special Japan-only versions that involved product placement in form of changed sprites and some minor gameplay differences and they were generally given out as competition prizes: these include All Night Nippon Super Mario Bros. and Archimedes Gradius. These were parodied in Retro Game Challenge, where one of the unlockable games is a special version of a driving game already present in the game that's sponsored by the fictional Inokichi Noodles.
  • Probably the earliest example is 280 Zzzap, a Night Driver clone created by Midway to promote the Datsun 280-Z.
  • One sidequest in Ni no Kuni has you assembling ingredients for a curry for a merchant. Unlike with most sidequests, this one ends with a fully-voiced cutscene where the main characters all rave about how delicious the curry is. This is because in Japan, you really could buy officially-licensed curry mix based on the game's recipe, in a cross between Product Placement and The Merch.
  • In Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee, there are SoBe machines where you can restore your health.
  • In Parasite Eve 2 Coca-Cola was a usable item that restored 20HP and 80MP.
  • Parappa The Rapper 2 has an early demo disc version which contained the first stage, with the Beard Burger logos and branding inside the restaurant completely swapped with the McDonald's logo. Beard Burger Master's opening line "The best burgers in town from all around" greatly emphasizes on the, if not already obvious, product placement.
  • The Laptop Gun in Perfect Dark Zero is said to run Windows 20. The franchise, obviously, is owned by Microsoft.
  • Pikmin 2 was full of brand-name products (from Durcell batteries to containers for various Japanese food brands), though in this case, it helped add realism. On the other hand, Olimar and the ship were somewhat more likely to say something positive about a treasure that had a logo on it... The sheer number of trademarks present in the game probably contributed to its delayed Wii rerelease in North America, as Nintendo did not renew its deals with the various companies that owned said trademarks.
  • One of the earliest video game examples, the original version of Pole Position had ads for Canon, Pepsi, and a number of other companies. The XBOX 360 Namco Museum is one of the only ports that keeps the product placement in.
  • The protagonist of the Pokémon games has Nintendo's current home console in his/her room, including the Super NES (Gen. I), the N64 (Gen. II), the GameCube (Gen. III), the Wii (Gens. IV and V), the Wii U (Gen. VI).
    • Taken to impressive levels in Black and White; the main character has his/her first Pokémon battle in his/her room and everything is decimated afterwards. However, upon examination, the Wii is in the same spot and, when 'talked to', is apparently undamaged!
    • Pokemon X and Y also included a Pikachu 3DS XL that shows up early in the game if you choose the female trainer. So not only did the game just include product placement for the very system you need in order to play the game, but it showed a limited edition model!
  • In Prototype, as the game progresses billboards and signs advertising all fictional in-game corporations in Manhattan are eventually covered up by propaganda, graffiti or both. However, all the advertisements for Hollywood Video, Gold's Gym, and Game Stop remain perfect and pristine, even when a total zombie apocalypse scenario is occurring in the heart of Times Square, and literally all the other signs are in some way covered up.
  • Rock Band basically expands where Harmonix left off in Guitar Hero 2; each game has more and more companies represented, all music-related. The guitar controllers have the Fender brand on them since Gibson was taken (up to and including the actual Fender Squier available for Rock Band 3).
  • Rock Band 2 did have a non-music-related sponsor in Hot Topic, though the player would lose fans if they took the sponsorship. A patch removed this effect; the claimed reason for the patch is that it was offered too often if the player rejected it each time.
  • Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA was loaded with ads for Mountain Dew. Every can that you can collect was a Mt.Dew as well as a few in-game billboards along with the fictional ones. There was even a Mt.Dew car that you could unlock! There were also billboards for some of Midway's other games such as Area 51: Site 4, Mace: The Dark Age, and Gauntlet Legends.
  • In Shaun White Skateboarding, you strike out against an oppressive 1984 - esque dystopian regime via the power of skateboarding, which brings color to a monochrome world... as well as Stride gum billboards and Wendy's restaurants, among others. Needless to say, the "fight government oppression via corporate advertising" aspect wasn't well received.
  • The 5to2 Cafe from Natural Born Killers appears in the first Silent Hill.
  • The Sims 2:
    • IKEA Home Stuff, full stop.
    • Earlier than that, H&M Fashion Stuff.
    • One UK games magazine reviewed the former by simply listing all the products featured in it, with a few snarky comments in between.
    • In fact, The Sims is a proud sponsor of European brands. Aside from the horrifyingly Saccharine Katy Perry Sweet Treats, there is the Diesel Pack which features the Italian clothing brand Diesel which is better received.
  • In Soldier of Fortune II, a computer on the Seaward Star displays the title screen of Doom.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 replaces Sonic's trademark shoes with a pair from the brand Soap. And yes, there are Soap Shoes ads in quite a few of the levels. It should be noted that Soap shoes aren't really normal shoes, they've got a sideways bite out of the sole so that you can grind on railings, which was exploited as a gameplay mechanic. Later games gave Sonic his old shoes back but kept the grinding move.
    • Sega's deal with the company covered the Battle rerelease but not the HD version of the game, resulting in ads previously for Soap being replaced for ads for the fictional "Speed" brand... using the same font and design. The company's bankruptcy didn't help things either.
  • Space Quest V: The Next Mutation has Sprint logos on any communications transmissions as it's the game's sponsor.
  • Splinter Cell
    • You can see Sobe Adrenaline Rush vending machines in the third mission. And in the CIA, no less.
    • They also use Sam Fisher's electronic organizers to place products. The first game, for example, gave him a Palm OPSAT, while the second game gave him a Sony Ericsson phone.
    • Nokia everythings are all over the place in Double Agent. Even as Sam is trying to deciding whether or not to detonate the Cozumel bomb and kill a cruiser full of innocent people, he's staring down at a huge NOKIA logo on his cell-phone detonator.
    • In addition, in Chaos Theory, he chews Airwaves gum in cutscenes.
    • Also in Chaos Theory, you can find a truck with the slogan "Dell: Own one, pwn all."
    • Another in Chaos Theory, while sneaking around a PMC office building you find two guards chatting about how awesome Prince of Persia (another Ubisoft game) is and how GOTY is certain.
    • Computer monitors tend to have several real-world logos on them when in sleep mode.
    • All normal (non-military) television sets in Chaos Theory show a trailer for the previous Splinter Cell.
  • Tom Clancy games in general seem to use this quite a bit, besides the above Splinter Cell examples.
    • An iPad is shown and referred to by name in Rainbow 6: Patriots.
    • In Rainbow 6: Vegas 2 there is a level that takes place in a games convention. There is the standard easter egg of arcade machines with other Ubisoft titles on them, but you can also find giant, wall-sized banners for Far Cry 2 and some banners for Comcast.
  • In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The game's logo is on the energy drinks. Also, the "Cossacks" Vodka produced by "GSC Company" is a plug for the developers' (GSC Game World) earlier series, Cossacks.
  • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire on the Nintendo 64 contains a bit of product placement to itself, of all things: during the mission inside the freighter the Suprosa, when Dash locates the supercomputer containing the new Death Star plans, it will greatly resemble an N64 with a Shadows cartridge plugged in if viewed from a sufficient distance.
  • Also a common sight in Steam games.
    • Such as the billboards in Left 4 Dead and posters in Counter-Strike. However, the ads are general and not targeted and everyone will see the same thing though of course they do change from time to time depending on the Steam server, usually advertising other games on Steam.
    • Similarly, the pre-game lobby in Killing Floor has room for a video ad under the player list. Typically it will just show ads for other Tripwire content (specifically Red Orchestra or KF's latest character pack) but on occasion they will advertise upcoming movies, such as Resident Evil: Afterlife and Devil.
    • Also, there's the whole deal with Team Fortress 2's promotional items.
  • Super Monaco GP is another subversion, as Sega was sued by Philip Morris over the unauthorized use of the Marlboro logo. Most of the billboards in the game advertised Bland Name Products, but later revisions replaced half of them with Flicky anyway.
  • Super Monkey Ball 2 doesn't just have plain bananas like in Donkey Kong Country — they're all Dole bananas, complete with sticker.
  • Super Robot Wars (any number of Merchandise-Driven Humongous Mecha shows)
  • Tapper had a prominent Budweiser sign in the background.
  • Pizza Hut signs are all over Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game. The instruction manual also included coupons for Pizza Hut pizza.
  • The UK version of Theme Hospital for the PC featured vending machines with a glaring Kit Kat logo plastered clearly on them. Seeing how they actually got a bank to sponsor the UK release of the original PC version of Theme Park, it wouldn't be surprising if Nestle sponsored the game.
  • In Tonic Trouble, you can turn into SuperEd by eating popcorn... from Nestle Crunch vending machines. (Nestle Crunch is a chocolately candy.)
  • Tomb Raider Legend had name brand SUVs driven by the bad guys, and Lara riding Ducati motorcycles.
    • Tomb Raider II has Lara in a SOLA wetsuit, with the logo prominently displayed (on her chest, of course)
  • Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 advertised Nokia.
  • In The Urbz for console, the eagle-eyed player could easily spot branded Red Bull machines in certain locales. Admittedly, a coffee cart would be tough to find in a dirty subway or the equally-dirty alleyway outside a biker bar, but this is too much. Perhaps presence of The Black Eyed Peas music would also count, exacerbated/mitigated by them being CHARACTERS IN THE GAME!
  • In Viewtiful Joe 2, when Alastor appears, he refuses to introduce himself, declaring that if you (the player) wants to know who he is, you should go pick up a copy of Viewtiful Joe (complete with a pop-in image of the game box) from your nearest game store's bargain bin. This is also a case of Lampshade Hanging and No Fourth Wall.
  • Wave Race 64 was sponsored by Kawasaki Motors with their brand name plastered everywhere in the game. Their brand name was removed in the Virtual Console version, replaced with ads for the Wii.
  • Xbox 360 avatars can be dressed up or given props that advertise particular games, events, or designer brands of clothing or headphones. Very few of these are free, which can lead to the inversion of you paying Microsoft points to advertise someone else's product.
  • The X-Universe games have nividium, a plot point in X2 and X3 that is clearly a Shout-Out to nVidia. Egosoft insists it isn't, probably to avoid pissing off ATI users.
  • Yakuza has quite the number of food and drink product placements, from more obvious ones like Suntory drinks. To actual restaurants such as Sam's being advertised.
  • Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension was sponsored by Chupa Chups lollipops. The first level has a "candy land" theme. One guess as to what's advertised all over the level...
  • This gaming interview with Geoff Keighley has the speaker surrounded by Mountain Dew and Dorito products, which was also a tie in with Halo 4. It doesn't look like he'll ever live it down.
  • For some reason, three noodle companies decided to sponsor rereleases of Famicom games, thus the existence of Kaettekita Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda Charumera, and Gradius Archimedes Hen. This is parodied in Retro Game Challenge with Rally King SP, sponsored by the fictional Cup o' Chicken Noodle company.
  • Some racing games are actually marketed with this in mind, like NFS Porsche Unleashed and Automobili Lamborghini. There's also Beetle Adventure Racing for the Nintendo 64.
  • More technical racing games don't just have product placement for vehicles, but even for parts. Two excellent examples are the 4x4 Evolution and the Need for Speed franchise after Underground (see its own listing).
  • EA Sports's NHL franchise has hockey equipment manufacturers (CCM and Reebok, for example) and their own licensees (Honda was prominent in the recent games). Unlike the FIFA example, the NHL does not have league-wide sponsors that have to be included.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines has several arcade machines for other Activision titles. Perhaps jokingly, you can find two Call of Duty pinball machines, one of which is frustrating its user.
  • Virtual-ON has a very, very subtle product placement: the backs of the Virtuaroids have Sega Saturn consoles on them. The sequel, Virtual-On: Oratorio Tangram, replaces the Saturns with Dreamcasts.
  • In The Quest Of Ki, one joke hint is a gratuitous plug for Italian Tomato, a restaurant chain that was owned by Namco when the game was made.
  • Kingpin: Life of Crime had a tie-in with clothing maker Diesel. The idea was that the developers would put the Diesel logo on some character textures (there's also a big billboard in one level), and indeo return, the retail copy would be sold in Diesel stores. The textures appear in the game, but it's unknown wether the game was ever sold in a Diesel shop.
  • Dance Dance Revolution is basically an advertisement for the Dancemania Eurobeat compilation CDs
  • Sonic Dash has a boss battle advertising Sonic Lost World—it's random when it happens, but if you are on a long stretch of land with absolutely nothing on it, Zazz will show up shortly afterwards, the Deadly Six theme starts to play and the boss battle begins. Beating Zazz gives you 5000 bonus points.

Parodies (Nintendo's® Wii® Party):

  • Deus Ex: The description for the soda is "The can is blank except for the phrase 'PRODUCT PLACEMENT HERE.' It is unclear whether this is a name or an invitation."
  • Grand Theft Auto: From III on, the whole series is merciless in its lampooning of product placement through satiric commercials for Brand X products.
  • Mario Kart:
    • They seem to enjoy mocking this trope, as most courses are covered with ads for fictional companies and products that allude to the Mario universe, including Bowser Oil, Shy Guy Metals (Since 1987), Galaxy Air, Lemmy's Tire Service, etc.
    • The Japanese release of Mario Kart 64 even had Bland-Name Product ads for Mariobro (Marlboro), Luigip (Agip), Yoshil (Mobil), and Shell (with a Koopa shell).
  • Parasite Eve 2 has Coca-Cola machines in the backgrounds of more populated areas; hell, one of the items that Aya can use to regain a lot of Mist Points is a Can of Soda, which upon closer inspection, is indeed a can of Coke.
  • In the Crapsack World RPG Underground, product placement has become so blatantly ubiquitous that embedded ads can be found in constitutional amendments.
  • In Backyard Basketball, Barry DeJay endorses 110% Juice (a fictional comnpany), and the MVP is the 110% Juice Player of the Game. 110% Juice is even a powerup in the game.
  • In the Sam & Max: Freelance Police episode "Night of the Raving Dead", the eponymous duo star in several Very Special Episodes of Midtown Cowboy. These turn out to be egregious product placements for alcohol and clove cigarettes.
  • Lemmings 3D has its candy-themed levels plastered with ads for Jelly Belly, at least in the PSX version.
  • Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden's strongest healing item is a Burger King chicken fry. Not even a whole order, but a single fry. The second strongest healing item is the greasy "dew" left behind by a chicken fry. And then there's the Hi-C Ecto Cooler, which comes in two versions: "Ecto Cooler" (heals HP) and "Ecto Cooler?" (heals some HP and some MP).
  • Several late 90s/early 00s Electronic Arts games have absurdly fake brands where advertisements would be in real life (such as billboards in sports arenas). Examples include signs for "Chicken Pork" in Triple Play Baseball and Bobby Heenan pandering "Salsadent: The Spicy Toothpaste" in WCW Mayhem.
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 had a sponsorship from Six Flags, which meant playable Six Flags parks and useable (but not editable) Six Flags rides.
  • World of Warcraft plastered this on a quest. A group of hip, partying goblins begged you to retrieve their thirst-quenching, delicious drink from the crabs that had made off with them. After tracking down the crabs and untying the bottles that had oddly been tied to their claws, the goblins cheered and exclaimed how delicious it was.
  • Dynamite Dux has a KFC restaurant at the very beginning of the first level, with the Colonel standing outside. A few other stores are shown throughout the level, but the KFC one is the most noticeable.
  • Call Of Dooty has ads for Pepsi and Taco Bell strewn throughout levels 2 and 3, and gives the player achievements for looking at them (and for ordering a Pepsi from a Pepsi machine.)
    Refreshed For Battle
    Please visit

Live Action TVProduct Placement    

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy