With Metal Gear Solid 4 complete, all the details regarding the marketing arrangements in the game have come to light. It seems the game will be a vehicle for product placement on an unprecedented scale for an A-List title, with 10 product “collaborations” evident; but it is not so much the number as the prominence and lack of consideration for fit which stand out. Read on for the full details.
1. Regain: this is some energy/vitamin drink, of the sort popular in Japan. With the slogan of “Can you fight 24 hours?”, “the product slogan matches Snake to a T” says producer Ken-Ichiro Imaizumi. You can see snake leering over a bottle above. Drinking the bottles you can find in game will allow Snake to recover health, etc.
2. iPod: you can get hold of an iPod in game and use it to play music, and find additional tracks to load onto it during the course of the game.
Music will, as you might expect, include unlockable BGM, but it has also been announced you will be able to get various JPOP tracks from Kojima/Konami’s pet band, sure to get you in the mood for slitting some throats, though perhaps not of the enemy you face off against.
No word on whether there will be any industrial/metal, or other genres more in tune with the game’s atmosphere.
3. Idol (南明奈 / Akina Minami): She will make various appearances in game, for example plastered on the walls of soldier’s aid stations, replacing generic idols in previous games. Apparently, she will also make some in game appearances, and it is a given that she will be displayed at events and in marketing materials. Supposedly she is a great fan of MGS3.
4. Sony Ericsson: All the characters will naturally be using these phones (the W62S in particular), and you will be able to access a Solidified version of the phone’s OS in game, with a variety of additional content. Kojima shills over how amusing it is in his blog.
5. The Alarm Clock: The characteristic alarm clock of the series will be made into an actual product.
6. Assassin’s Solid: A costume of Assassin’s Creed’s protagonist will be inexplicably available in game.
7. Triumph Motorcycles: Fitting the futuristic setting, all the bikes in the game will be retro Triumph models; apparently this arrangement is a continuation of the one in the last games, but as that was set in the 1960’s it was rather innocuous (as is how game producers always like to assure us in game advertising will be).
8. Metal Gear Solid Mobile Phone Cleaner: Lamentably, it does not sound as if Snake will actually be able to clean his Sony Ericsson W62S using this product in game, but you certainly will be able to clean yours with it.
Snake always receives tactical information with a clean mobile for maximum combat efficiency – a clean mobile means the difference between operational success and failure!
Uniqlo, the globally expanding Japanese clothing brand, will also launch a series of MGS T-shirts, though it is not clear if the brand will appear in game, although I would suspect as much. A trailer for the game will also feature on the rental edition of “I Am Legend” in the Japanese market.
All this is confirmed for the Japanese market, so I would imagine each release territory will experience its own peculiar marketing bonanza, though the pattern and many of the products will doubtless remain the same. Famitsu has more details and photos.
Enjoy riding your Triumph Bonneville T100 into battle whilst tanked up on Regain and fighting off enemy hordes with your clean Sony Ericsson W62S, fashionably attired in Uniqlo clothing.