In-game marketing refers to the practice of promoting products or services within the context of a video game. This can be done through a variety of means, including product placements, branded items or events, and sponsored content.
Here are a few examples of in-game marketing from various video games:
- In the massively popular battle royale game Fortnite, players can purchase skins, or outfits, for their characters that are based on popular franchises such as Marvel and Star Wars. This allows game developer Epic Games to monetize their partnerships with these companies and also provides players with more customization options for their characters.
- In the sports simulation game NBA 2K, players can purchase virtual currency called VC to unlock in-game items such as new player builds and clothing. The game also features a variety of real-life sponsors and partners, such as Nike and Gatorade, whose products appear in the game.
- The mobile puzzle game Candy Crush includes sponsored levels, in which players can earn rewards by completing levels that are themed around a particular brand or product. For example, there have been sponsored levels for KitKat and Cadbury chocolate brands.
- In the open-world action game Grand Theft Auto V, players can purchase in-game real estate and businesses, including a single-player campaign where players must manage a nightclub. The game also includes a variety of branded vehicles, such as a Dewbauchee JB 700 car based on the Aston Martin DB5 from the James Bond film franchise.
- In the online multiplayer game World of Warcraft, players can purchase in-game pets, mounts, and other items from an in-game store using real money or a virtual currency called gold, which can be earned through gameplay. The game also includes sponsored events and items, such as a partnership with the Rock band Metallica that included a Metallica-themed mount and other in-game items.
- In the mobile game Pokémon Go, players can visit sponsored “Pokestops” at real-world locations such as museums and monuments to collect in-game items. The game has also featured sponsored events, such as a partnership with Starbucks in which players could visit Starbucks locations to receive in-game bonuses.
- In the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) Final Fantasy XIV, players can purchase in-game items and currency using real money. The game has also featured sponsored events, such as a partnership with the popular Japanese clothing brand Uniqlo to provide in-game clothing items based on the brand’s designs.
- In the sports game FIFA, players can purchase in-game currency called FIFA points to unlock new players and other in-game items. The game also includes sponsored content, such as a partnership with Nike to include Nike-branded kits and other items in the game.
- In the mobile game Clash of Clans, players can purchase in-game currency called gems to unlock new items and speed up gameplay. The game also includes sponsored content, such as a partnership with the animated film Trolls World Tour to include Trolls-themed in-game items.
- In the online multiplayer game Team Fortress 2, players can purchase in-game items and currency using real money or a virtual currency called Mann Co. Store Credit. The game also includes sponsored content, such as a partnership with the fast food chain Mcdonald’s to include Mcdonald’s-themed in-game items.