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Since the beginning of gaming, companies have noticed that video games could be used as a way for advertising their products. Thus the advertisement game was born.

An advertisement game, or "advergame" as they're usually called, is a particular sort of licensed video game that is meant to advertise a product, such as a food snack or clothing company. Few are available for retail release, with most preferring to be pack-in, freeware, or online.

As gamers (and parents) are not keen to such blatant marketing, many advertisement games instead opt for the stealthy route. They don't make it noticeable from the title that it's a marketing ploy and don't include blatant Product Placement from the get go. Sometimes this works, however other times gamers can still notice and word of mouth will spread. Tropes Are Tools, however, as some advergames have become Cult Classics or have even reached popularity despite being created to market products.

Compare to Merchandise-Driven, Licensed Game, and Product Placement.


    open/close all folders 

  • UFO Kamen Yakisoban, a series of commercials based around a ramen-themed superhero, got a tie-in beat-em-up game on SNES. It was originally a lottery prize, but Nissin received so many entries it got a full retail release.

    First-Person Shooters 
  • Duty Calls is a game that parodies military first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty and Medal of Honor. It was a covert advergame meant to advertise another game, Bulletstorm.
  • Chex Quest is a 1996 mod of DOOM that was given away in boxes of Chex cereal.

  • Island Saver, an Action-Adventure title sponsored by the UK's National Westminster Bank as part of their Money Sense program for children.
  • Millsberry was an online game that was in service from 2004 to 2010. It advertised General Mills and their various food products. Millsberry is one of the most well-known example as, despite being a marketing tool, it was still a fun game where you could create your own house, interact with others, and play games similar to Neopets.
  • Pepsiman is a Japanese-only PlayStation game that advertises for Pepsi. It uses one of their mascots, Pepsiman, and its gameplay resembles an Endless Running Game.
  • Nexgame, a Flash-made spiritual sequel made to advertise Pepsi Nex (the Japanese only equivalent to Coca-Cola Zero).
  • Chase the Chuck Wagon is a 1983 video game for the Atari 2600 meant to advertise Purina dog food. It was available through mail order by sending in proofs of purchase to Purina. It's a simple maze game.
  • The Walt Disney World Explorer is not even a game, but a computer application with slideshows and videos released in 1996 with an Updated Re-release in 1998 that was ultimately made to promote the Walt Disney World Resort. The "advertising" part worn away over the years.
  • The ''Wonka'' division of Nestle had a website and a couple dozen games to advertise its products. For example, "Gobstopper Gobbler" was Pac-Man with an Everlasting Gobstopper and Shock Tarts, Bottle Caps, and Runts taking the place of the energizers, dots, and fruits, and "Nerds Rope" was a "snake" game with puzzle elements.
  • The aptly named WD-40 Spray Game was released in 2001 as a free bonus for members of the official WD-40 Fan Club. It was all but forgotten especially when WD-40 wound down the Fan Club in the 2010s, though a copy of the game was rediscovered in 2022 by a Reddit user.

    Platform Games 
  • Doritos Crash Course is a downloadable game for the Xbox 360 meant to market Doritos chips. This one actually received a short-lived sequel.
  • McDonald's Treasure Land Adventure is a platformer for the Sega Genesis, released by Treasure in 1993, advertising McDonald's. Ronald McDonald finds a piece of a treasure map, leading to a treasure hunt, and his friends, including Hamburglar, Birdie, and Grimace all appear in the game to help him along his quest.
  • Before the above, there was McKids for the NES and Game Boy, about a pair of boys named Mick and Mack as they traverse McDonald Land on a quest to recover Ronald's magic bag from the Hamburglar.
  • Cool Spot is a platformer starring an anthropomorphized version of the red spot from the logo of 7-Up soft drink, which was part of an advertising campaign in the 1990s.
  • World Gone Sour is a 2011 platformer based off of Sour Patch Kids candy. It was published by Capcom and released on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 4.
  • Daymare Cat is a platformer set in Daymare Town that features the music of Canadian singer-songwriter Cat Jahnke, and ends with a link to buy an album.

    Puzzle Games 
  • GROW:
    • Grow Island and Grow Valley are advertissment games for the Shibaura Institute of Technology.
    • Grow Clay is an advergame for the Japanese company "TECROSS".
  • Submachine: FLF is a side-story Submachine game advertising the UK group Future Loop Foundation. (The HD download version removes the advertising, since you're already paying for the game.)

    Racing Games 
  • 1989's Vette! is an early example. It was a racing game that advertised the Chevrolet Corvette. In it, you raced around San Francisco in a 3D environment. It also came with a chance to win a trip to San Francisco.
  • Harley-Davidson: Race Across America takes players through a cross-country race to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally using a number of motorcycles sold by Harley at the time.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • The RPG-style Darkened Skye is an advergame for Skittles candy. However, some sources say the dev team paid for the right to use the brand instead of the other way around. Nevertheless, it contains skittles scattered around that give the protagonist abilities.

    Simulation Games 

    Visual Novels 

Fictional examples: