How Fallout: Las Vegas became partners with South Park

After taking a 1 1/2 year hiatus, I am proud to say I have returned.  With the abrupt closure of the former chain known as Gamecrazy (thanks Movie Gallery), I now have more time to focus on other things. So let’s get the ball rolling.

As a self-proclaimed geek, I enjoy video games, comics, anime, and the occasional Japanese foreign flick. Continuing my streak of nerdiness, I tuned in Wednesday to watch the latest South Park. Amidst all the Hoarders and Inception parodies, I noticed another continuous element: the presence of Fallout: New Vegas on every commercial break.

Video game commercials are nothing new. For years now, game companies have been releasing commercials to advertise video game products. Even more present are the number of video game advertisements (in numerous medias) that are released between the months of August through December, the “peak” season of gaming as some might say.

So what makes the advertisement for Fallout: New Vegas so different? Well, for one thing, the entire South Park episode was “brought to you by” by Fallout: New Vegas. In other words, Obsidian Entertainment shelled out big bucks to ensure that the South Park episode was dedicated to Hoarders, Inception, AND Fallout. By sponsoring the episode, the company not only ensured numerous showings of Fallout commercials (on two of the three breaks), but also had the opportunity to showcase its newest game at the beginning of the episode.

The showcase of Fallout: New Vegas was nearly two minutes long. It was well done, with just enough information to get your interest piqued, but not enough to savor the quench. Coming from someone who did not enjoy the first Fallout (me and the VAT system just don’t get along), I ended up enjoying the showcase. Even though I had DVRed the entire South Park episode (oh the wonders of technology), I thought I’d watch the showcase just for fun.

Obsidian found a hidden jewel in South Park. Even though video game players and South Park viewers tend to differ in age, the majority of the overall audience for both medias are startlingly similar in age, gender, and overall personality type. For everyone not playing Fallout: Las Vegas, South Park was the perfect platform for Obsidian to cater to its general audience.

In conclusion, all I’d like to say is bravo Obsidian bravo. If you didn’t remind a few old fans and gain a few new ones, I’d be very supervised. Hopefully other video game companies will follow suite in the future and gain some new fans themselves.

Update: Ironically, on Thursday night the new It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which caters to much of the same audience as South Park) was sponsored by Fable 3. Though this sponsorship did not include a showcase, the idea was still the same. Congrats Lionhead!

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