Real world ads to invade The Sims Online.

Product placement is really starting to come into its own in video games. We’ve had some product placement for awhile now, mostly in the form of ads for various soft drinks and other related items on billboards in racing games or sports titles, but the folks at Electronic Arts will be taking it to a whole new level when The Sims Online is released later this fall.

Detailed terms of EA’s multimillion-dollar deal were not available but it will allow Intel’s familiar jingle, its product logo, and computers using its Pentium 4 processor to appear in the game.

Players in the game also will be able to buy a McDonald’s kiosk and sell the company’s branded food products, earning “simoleans,” the game’s currency. Eating that food will also improve their standing within the game.

While video game companies traditionally have had major brand names in their games, usually those brands have been licensed for a fee by the publishers, rather than the brands paying to be placed in the game.—Yahoo Finance.

Needless to say there will probably be more announcements of deals with other companies looking to cash in on the seemingly unceasing popularity of The Sims. Considering this will be an online game it would be easy for new product placements to be worked into the game even after it’s released.

9 thoughts on “Real world ads to invade The Sims Online.

  1. Next thing you know, McDonalds will offer free *real* food if you buy alot of their food in the game.  I can see it now: “Spend 1,000,000 simoleans and get a free happy meal!”

    Damn advertizing executives and their greed.

  2. I just want to know if you make your Sim eat a lot of McDonald’s food and sit all day in front of his Intel based PC, will he grow as fat as he would in the real world?

    Still, the irony of someone like myself, who has put on more pounds than he should in part due to a long-time love affair with McDonald’s, sitting in front of a PC directing an online virtual representation of himself to go to McDonald’s and sit in front of a virtual PC hasn’t been lost on me. I’m sure there are a lot of psychologists out there who could drone on for hours about this sort of paradox without anyone really caring.

  3. My only problem is this: Eating that food will also improve their standing within the game. I don’t mind the product placement, the Sims is supposed to be a game about life. Product placement (or at least advertising) has existed in games before (take a look at any sports or racing game and you’ll find the usual real life billboards on the walls of stadiums or on cars.)

    The issue I have is that it has never directly affected the game before. Plus, as you point out Les, the effect in the game is the oppisite of the life simulation that the Sims proposes to be.

    (DISCLAIMER: This, of course, does not diminish my opinion of Will Wright as one of gamings super men.)

  4. In the statement:
    “Eating that food will also improve their standing within the game.”

    I think they just mean that your Sim’s hunger need will go down.

  5. Yep, from the full article:

    Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s, which is currently trying to revive its brand through an overhaul of its menu and the remodeling of its brick and mortar outlets, will allow Sims Online players to operate a McDonald’s kiosk and earn virtual money—“Simoleons”—for operating the virtual business. When Sims eat at McDonalds, it will earn them credits in both the “hunger” and “fun” categories.

  6. it would seem prudent (i hate that word) for the sims characters to also become more plump from consuming junk food. Maybe they could add a “nutrition” meter later on, which effects energy etc. Hell, even a “cholestorol” meter, ultimately leading to heart failure. And why don’t sims smoke?!

    Is there any possibility that there could be activist sims who will protest in the game, and try to effect the sales of realworld simproducts through leafleting and demonstrations? How could it be stopped? will the simpolice enforce the simlaw and thwart their efforts?

    I only just became addicted to this insidious game .. and i’ve been thinking about it a lot. what could happen if you subscribe to sims online? I’ve already started neglecting my own real world needs to keep my sim happy. Anybody else? smile

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