Now, this is news I never thought that I’d be mentioning. XBox and Burger King (yes, you read that right) have teamed up to have cross-promotional marketing in Burger King restaurants. Microsoft’s going to have three games for Xbox and the 360 available for $3.99 at Burger King: Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin and Sneak King. . Each of these games will feature Burger King characters, plus Pocketbike Racer and Big Bumpin will both have Xbox Live capabilities. There's no word on how long they'll be in stores, other than for the holiday season.
While they might be cheap, these games are very well thought out cross-promotional products. On the surface, this looks like nothing more than a crass marketing campaign by both Microsoft and Burger King, but it’s much more than that.
Okay this isn’t exactly Halo 3 that Burger King will be putting out, but Microsoft is thinking outside the box. It’s a great way to reach out to kids, and especially their parents. Having worked in video game retail before, I know how hard it is for parents to get age appropriate games for their young kids under the age of 10. Many popular titles are just too violent or complex for kids to grasp, and it’s created a sense of alienation amongst parents, who distrust video games to begin with. For every Lego Star Wars out there, there’s ten Splinter Cell/Mortal Kombat games as well.
Too often entertainment for kids is overlooked as simplistic crap and not worth the attention of the community. That’s not to say that the kids’ games are good, a great deal of them are crap, but it’s something that the industry and fans as a whole need to reflect upon. Too much of an emphasis on the older video gamers can lead to losing the younger ones. Nintendo at least, realizes this, but they’re just one company amongst many. We need a more balanced video game market that can truly support Half-Life 2 and Super Monkey Ball Adventures.
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