Spiking the Content

I’ve wondered aloud on this blog and elsewhere why companies aren’t hiring videogame modelers to create game content to be used freely for game modifications as a way of both getting free advertising and avoiding the wrath of gamers who traditionally despise real-world advertising shoehorned into their favorite game. If some mod or “total conversion” author chooses to include the branded content, gamers can either accept how the author has integrated that content or not play the mod. Simple as that. And with no repercussions. But leave it to media-savvy (and sneaky) Chrysler to use a back door… with keys.

Clickable Culture today has posted an entry (Link) concerning Chrysler-branded content shipping with the machinima-making videogame, “The Movies“. The revelation over at CC apparently came about as a result of outside blog traffic discussing a Sundance-sponsored machinima contest (as reported by the Hollywood Reporter and relayed via online website BackstageLink). The new machinima video competition is titled “Chrysler in the Movies: Virtual Film Competition” and it’s set to be launched January 20th. Furthermore, it requires that participants use the Lionhead Studios videogame to create their entry (a shame, Half-Life 2’s higher-quality content and lip-synch capability make it a superior (example) – if more difficult to master – tool for machinima creation).

But as Tony Walsh over at Clickable Culture points out, “I think it’s fair to say this is not a contest about art, it’s a contest about marketing”; and as such, all that probably really matters is getting the logo to look good. However, as I commented on his blog, a real surprise would have been seeing Ford or GM creatively using these media avenues to market their cars. As posted earlier (Links), Chrysler already knows how to play this game.

As an aside, I’m wondering if Chrysler (via Lionhead) intends to update content (see my earlier posts/comments – Link 1, Link2, Link 3 – to understand why I ask).