The eighties and nineties were a strange old time indeed, with companies vying to outdo each other in very real, tangible ways.
Pepsi fought Coca Cola, MTV clashed with VH1, and Ronald McDonald regularly questioned the Hamburglar’s parentage.
Into this arena stepped Nintendo and Sega, with their chosen champions in the form of Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog, respectively.
Such emblematic characters soon transcended the actual companies themselves, with the industry heavyweights betting the farm on the fortunes of an overweight plumber and a blue hedgehog.
In later years, we were treated to such iconic characters as Spryo, Bubsy and, of course, Crash Bandicoot, each of which attempted to crack the Mario/Sonic formula with varying degrees of success.
Crafting a unique character to carry your company, however, is no longer the prevailing wisdom nor mission statement in the industry, as modern games are now advanced and nuanced enough not to have to rely so heavily on such a hook.
Indeed, many of the characters who could be classed as mascots in modern gaming gained their popularity as a by-product of the games in which they feature.
Nathan Drake is not Mario any more than Master Chief is Sonic the Hedgehog, but objective quality of the Uncharted and Halo franchises has thrust these characters into the spotlight, rather than the characters themselves being the focal point.