By Spencer . May 13, 2008 . 12:26pm
Product placement in movies is quite common and to some extent this is accepted for summer blockbusters. Why else would the Transformers be associated with General Motors? But, does Solid Snake really need an iPod to change the background music?
Konami already has plenty of Metal Gear Solid 4 branded products in the real world. Headphones, wireless headsets and limited edition consoles fall into the electronics category. Some of the merchandise like the t-shirts coming to Uniqlo on June 12 don’t. For 1,500 yen ($14) you can get a light blue shirt where a person has a cardboard box over his head is a reasonable tie-in. I would buy that shirt. Seeing Konami sell a Regain energy drink in convenience stores isn’t out of the ordinary either. Capcom and Square Enix have sold soft drinks before, so I guess this is a standard tie-in now.
However, placing Triumph motorcycles and giving in game characters Sony Ericsson cell phones feels excessive. It’s clear that Konami is mitigating development costs by adding iPods in Metal Gear Solid 4. Hudson did the same thing with Deca Sports, which they openly admit is partially sponsored Adidas. Back on the PlayStation 2 Electronic Arts slipped in as Cingular their “messaging provider” in Need for Speed 2 Underground. Sonic had advertisements for Soap shoes.
So, product placement isn’t exactly new for games, but Konami is going overboard with Metal Gear Solid 4. Maybe, it’s just because of the iPod because it’s so obvious.
Images courtesy of Famitsu and Konami.