10 Most Embarrassing Product Placements In Video Games

Peace Walker sold its soul in Japan.

Metal Gear Peace Walker Doritos

Video games and advertising have been bed-fellows for a long time now. In the early 80s the term "advergames" was coined for a wave of experiments from big corporations trying out the relatively new avenue of digital entertainment by crafting video games expressly to sell their products.

And whilst there's a big, infamous list of these (Pepsi Man, Cool Spot and the various McDonalds games) it's not always the case that companies craft their own title. More often than not, if they can get away with it, they'll ride on the coat tails of games that are already in development.

Not all advertising in video games is bad. If it's subtle or fits with the game's world then it can sometimes help immersion. However, there have been plenty of heavy-handed and totally overbearing examples that made players feel uncomfortable. After all, nobody wants to drop their pay-check on entertainment and then wind up being advertised to nonstop.

This list will explore some product placement blunders in video games over the years that, if corporations had emotions, would make them feel downright ashamed of themselves.

10. Death Stranding Advertises While You Poop

Metal Gear Peace Walker Doritos
Kojima Productions

Oh that Hideo Kojima, what will he think of next?

During his time directing Metal Gear Solid, there was always an interesting discussion to be had about what Kojima would do if taken totally off the leash. Sure, MGS had some completely outlandish moments but Konami seemed to be the one with the stamp of final approval.

So when Death Stranding finally released - his first work as an independent creator - we could finally see what he was capable of… and it was bodily functions. Oh good.

Not only can you pee in Death Stranding but you actually need to or protagonist Sam Bridges, portrayed by Norman Reedus, will get visibly uncomfortable. Additionally, you can also go for number two in a certain room of the game which then presents a supremely weird advertisement. As the glass door closes, players are treated to an advert for AMC’s Ride With Norman Reedus.

There are so many questions: if this is a secret facility, who is this commercial even for? But perhaps more pressing - AMC and Kojima Productions organised a contract for advertisement and presumably agreed to place it around when Sam Bridges drops trou?

Either way it didn’t work. The season of Ride with Norman Reedus following the release of Death Stranding had lower viewing figures than ever, presumably because a AAA game just crapped on it.


The Red Mage of WhatCulture. Very long hair. She/they.