The real-world trucking company Schneider National is paying for ads in American Truck Simulator to try to convince people to come work for them.
SCS Software, the developers of American Truck Simulator, said in a blog post (via GamesRadar) that the billboards in the game are now advertising Schneider National and directing players to the company’s careers website. This might not be a permanent addition to the game, as SCS said it’s only in the “try-out phase.” That said, the studio believes the concept “holds promise” for its own games and the automotive industry at large.
Billboards in American Truck Simulator were previously used to promote new content updates for the game.
SCS said Schneider National approached the developer for this campaign, and the studio was “excited to collaborate” to help expand upon American Truck Simulator and help the trucking industry.
Not everyone will be happy to see in-game ads in American Truck Simulator and some might wonder if SCS could start showing ads for other companies and products down the road. That remains to be seen, but SCS said its goal continues to be to make an “enjoyable and immersive game.”
“We believe that featuring industry-related content within the game can be both relevant and beneficial. Besides, with countless players passing by our in-game billboards, who knows? Someone might stumble upon a recruiting sign, prompting them or their friend to consider a job application at Schneider National or perhaps contemplate a career in the trucking industry,” SCS said.
This isn’t the first time an in-game billboard was used for promotion. The campaign for Barack Obama spent money to put in-game billboards in Burnout and 17 other titles to promote his first presidential campaign in 2008. Battlefield 2142 had in-game ads, too, and they were heavily criticized.
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