Activision Selling In-Game Bonuses for Junk Food

If you’re like most fans of Blizzard games, you cringe at every new gleam in Bobby’s Eyes, while hoping Blizzard will continue to hold off the financial encroachments the Activision brain trust continues to cook up. What’s the latest promotional scheme to fall like manna from heaven upon hapless Activision gamers? Hope you like Doritos and Mountain Dew.

Mountain Dew and Doritos have partnered with Activision on a new promotion for “Modern Warfare 3” called “RankUpXP.” This promotion will allow gamers who redeem codes from Mountain Dew and Doritos products up to 24 hours of “double XP” gametime (time during which actions in the game result in double the rewards other players get ).

…Activision seems dead set to kill the goose laying golden eggs. Core games, especially popular ones, consistently avoid “pay for performance” tactics. Activision might want to have asked Blizzard (whom they merged with) for advice. In “World of Warcraft,” gamers can spend money at the official store for vanity items only, not anything that changes gameplay (and players were more than happy to do so). In the upcoming “Diablo III,” Blizzard will be capitalizing on a “pay for performance” market, but only by facilitating one that is player to player.

Blizzard has done promotional deals with Mountain Dew (and plenty of other products) in the past, so that’s not a big deal. That MW3 is basically using junk food as a cash shop is an odd twist, though. I know nothing about Modern Warfare 3 other than that the founders and developers of the series were abruptly fired after MW2’s fantastically successful debut, for what seemed to be entirely financial reasons by Bobby’s lawyers, so maybe the XP you’re getting from these “food” products isn’t a big deal, or maybe there are other ways to buy it while doing less damage to your wallet (and body fat).

It does remind me of a news item from last year, about a rare bit of good news from Activision; that they’d declined to sell blatantly-invasive in-game advertising. Since I photoshopped up a silly picture of the Witch Doctor’s Firebats as new Fiery Ranch Doritos, I must include that image again in this post, and hope such sophisticated, high-brow humor doesn’t go over your heads.

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40 thoughts on “Activision Selling In-Game Bonuses for Junk Food

    • Well D3 release anticipation has died, so they’re posting whatever they think is even remotely relevant to keep interest flowing…….ain’t working is it?

      • Its Activision-Blizzard now …. If they are doing this with other new releases, they may do it with D3

  1. I am not familiar with MW3 but is leveling just based on kills like it was in COD.   If it is then the easiest way to level is to make a private map with you and your buds and have a kill fest.   I know more than a few clan mates power leveled that way.   It is why I preferred CS.

  2. I read this and thought meh?  If someone buys a bag of Doritos, puts in a code and invisibly earns more XP, how does that hurt me (ladder races aside)?

    Right up until some quest send me to “The Mountain of Dew” or the new most epic shield happens to resemble a half-eaten Dorito.

  3. Activision failed immensly here. We all know, every self respecting nerd dines on Cheetos not Doritos.

  4. That poor fat zombie in the picture has been struck a few times by the Fiery Ranch Doritos.  I just wish it would die in peace!

    • But it didn’t affect gameplay — it wasn’t as if for every Mountain Dew you bought earned you a bit of EXP or Gold…

  5. [quote]
    If someone buys a bag of Doritos, puts in a code and invisibly earns more XP, how does that hurt me (ladder races aside)?
    It gives them an unfair advantage. A character’s power should be based on in-game accomplishments, not on Daddy’s Mastercard usage or on what the player eats or drinks in real life.
    Pay to perform sucks whether we are talking the RMAH or purchasing Mountain Dew and Doritos.

  6. I just don’t want to ever see this in the game;

    Dorito’s Heavenly Cheezy Set

    Dorito’s Cheez Head Helmet
    Dorito’s Cool Ranch Breastplate
    Dorito’s Fiery Hot Leggings
    Dorito’s Nacho Dust Gloves

  7. West and Zampella were kicked because they tried to make a deal with EA.
    The exact details are of course not public and unless the suits between West&Zampella and Activision go to court then we will probably never know the entire story.
    That said gaining exp in games like MW3 isnt really that big of a deal. To a large extent it is not a competetive advantage so this doesnt suprise me or bother me at all really.

  8. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I predict fat people suing Activison (and Blizzard in the near future) because of that.

  9. FireDoritos

    Physical Realm

    Cost:352 Mana per second

    A swarm of fiery delicious Dorito chips pummel your enemies while coating them with a orange powdery flesh eating substance for 130% weapon damage per second as Fire.

    • “A swarm of fiery delicious Dorito chips pummel your enemies while coating them with a orange powdery flesh eating substance for 130% weapon damage per second as Fiery Nacho Cheese damage.”

      • orange powdery substance induces target to lick it’s own flesh causing 0 damage but immobilizing the target for 30 seconds.

        • Nacho cheese Doritos’ taste not only is disgusting but they also leave that trail of irremovable greasy poweder in you finger. You should rework your skill to cause 1000 poison damage per second.
          Original doritos is the king of the chips. Much better than those stinky cheetos.

  10. I actually saw a promotional MW3 energy drink in Australia the other day, thought it was a bit bizarre.. don’t know if it gave you double XP, but I’m guessing it’s the same deal here. The energy drink was V if anyone is interested.

  11. Blizzard are not a good example. Anyone remember recruit-a-friend? (do they still do it?) That was pay for performance. You bought a second account and dual boxed them and you got insane XP bonus’ and free levels.
    I realise it was carefully disguised as a way to get friends into the game, but it certainly resulted in pay for performance.

    • Well, depends on how you define Performance. That bonus let’s you rush through the early levels, but doesn’t really give you anything that “counts”, the real game takes place at maximum level, everything before that is just relaxed levelling by yourself.
      You know, they might do an XP promo for D3 for all I care, the cap is 60 and you reach it roughly when you’re done with hell, who cares if somebody reaches it halfway through hell instead? The result is the same, we’re 60 and farming Inferno, that’s what counts.

      • Fair points, I define it as “paying for an advantage you wouldn’t otherwise have”. Which it was. Where in the game you were gaining the advantge doesn’t really matter imo.

  12. What about free gold when you redeem a code? That could be possible in Diablo 3 to drive RMAH sales and Blizzard store sales while boosting product awareness of a particular brand. A very possible scenario that one because it’s invisible to other players when you redeem your code.

    • How is it more (or less) possible based on the visibility to other players ❓

      And how would it drive RMAH sales ❓

      It would cross a very distinct line they have drawn themselves: The AH is 100% player driven. They will not sell gold in any shape or form, you have to take the detour of depositing money in your account and buying the gold with that. So no, it’s not possible at all.

  13. This is actually pretty sad,

    Health concerns in modern society are already bad enough, health concerns among gamers are 100x worse…Now these companies are going to “encourage” kids to eat unhealthy **** just to sit at a computer grinding levels? I’m all for free enterprise but this is a move that could potentially cost lives.

    Where’s the resident Internet Illuminati theorist to tell us all about how this is just another move to thin the worlds population and make way for the new world order? I know he’s around here somewhere… 🙂

    • You do know they aren’t putting the food in peoples mouthes.  Maybe little bobby or janey’s parents should teach them about healthy eating and what not instead of putting it on the corporations who have developed a product that they wish to sell.  Or maybe if the computer geek who has access to the net looked it up they’d see what junk food does.  I think its completely moronic to put the responsibility all the time on corporations.  /end rant

      I say, keep this crap out of games.  Gaming does not require this kind of link and I do agree, buying a bag of chips to help your level is really not what should happen but it is an ingenious way to advertise.

      Speaking of Bobby Dickhead, he makes a cameo in the Moneyball movie.  He’s still a money grubbing ass in it too, so its not like he’s even really acting.

  14. Honestly, giving some people a “game” incentive to eat unhealthy IS putting food in their mouths… That justification is like saying no drug dealer has ever been responsible for an overdose victim or that bars aren’t responsible for drunk drivers… If the Law thinks drug dealers and bars are liable for what they “provide” despite them not putting anything into anyone’s body then this is exactly the same thing.

    Ignorance and linguistic distortion does not absolve one from their actions and these actions serve only 1 purpose, making money at the cost of people’s health and well being. Kids are too easily manipulated by “treats” to think that everything is going to be “solved” by their parents giving them a lesson on the four food groups.

  15. I must include that image again in this post, and hope such sophisticated, high-brow humor doesn’t go over your heads.   😆  Good one. 😛

  16. My son is a professional gamer and this activity takes him a lot of time, the double xp bonus promotional deal is great, all the players like this collaboration between Activision and Mountain Dew, they could make another collaboration with yogurt industry companies. I always tell my son that gaming is not a real profession, playing video games is a very interesting activity for him but he must also focus on studying and finishing the college.

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