Miami (FL) - In the first move of its kind for a fast food chain, Burger King today announced that it has teamed up with Microsoft to offer three exclusive video games that will be compatible with both the Xbox and the Xbox 360 console.
Beginning 19 November, the day Nintendo will launch its Wii console, consumers will be able to buy the games for $4 each in combination with the purchase of a "Value Meal." Dubbed the BK Xbox Game Series, the exclusive titles are called Pocketbike Racer, Big Bumpin', and Sneak King.
Pocketbike Racer is a motorcross racing game where players can race as "The King", the Subsurvient Chicken, or other characters not associated with Burger King. Available courses include a Burger King parking lot and The King's garden. Unexpectedly, there's also Xbox Live support for up to eight players.
Big Bumpin' sounds like the quintessential kart-racing title. Likewise, it will include the trademark BK characters and tie-ins, like the "Broiler" and King's Court tracks. Xbox Live is also supported with this game, for up to four players. Sneak King fits more in with the traditional platformer genre. In it, players must journey through multiple areas, passing out Burger King food to the starving citizens.
Product-specific video games are far from uncommon. They range from the Kool-Aid game on the Atari 2600 to a handful of M&M video games in the early 2000s. However, they've been admittedly absent in the current generation, assumedly because of rising development costs and increased expectations from consumers.
Fast food tie-ins with video games have historically been limited to inexpensive trinkets with some sort of likeness to a specific game franchise. This move from Burger King and Microsoft goes against those conventions.
Microsoft also has something to gain from this. Ever since sales of Xbox 360 units began to tape off, they've been increasingly pushing to appeal to the casual gaming crowd, most of which has avoided the Xbox because of its heavy concentration on intense, epic, and violent games.