Drinks’ association with games shows no signs of stopping
Versus Systems, a competitive gaming platform, announced a partnership with Rockstar, the manufacturers of Rockstar Energy Drink, to expand Versus in-game prize offerings.
Versus Systems allows developers, publishers and Rockstar to provide gamers with a steady stream of prizes that players can pre-select before they compete in-game. Prizes include gaming gear, apparel, concert tickets, energy drinks, downloadable content (DLC), and cash.
This isn’t the first time an energy drink has partnered with a member of the video games industry; previously Rockstar has run Gears of War-related promotions, and Monster typically runs limited edition packaging and in-game content with every new Call of Duty release.
Russian energy drink Tornado is connecting to Battlefield 1 players and offering them in-game content. (Ironically, one of the most amusing glitches in the game is the ‘fire tornado’ glitch, which though accidental, brought further attention to the brand.)
As well receiving in-game rewards from real-world products, sometimes the reverse is also true, with games companies occasionally extending in-game items into real-world products. Bethesda’s Fallout series introduced Nuka Cola Quantum to the gaming world, and in 2015, released it as an official drink. It promptly sold out, necessitating further production the following December. Likewise, SquareEnix’s immensely popular Final Fantasy series prompted the 2016 release of the in-game item elixir potion, which typically regenerates characters’ health and mana. The drink is based on Wiz Chocobo Post, a location within Final Fantasy 15.
As e-sports are growing in popularity (with a 42.6% revenue growth in 2016 and estimates that the e-sports industry is now worth US$892 million), and video game industry hitting revenues of US$91 billion in revenues , it’s time for other industries to take gamers seriously as a consumer audience and cultural force.