2 – Mountain Dew & WoW, CoD, Halo, etc.
Gamers have always felt passionately about their hobby, creating highly optimized machines to play the latest and greatest titles and sharing opinions about which platform is the best from the schoolyard to the office. Gaming provides stimulation to most of our senses: sight, hearing, and touch. Although Gfuel seems poised to take over the throne, Mountain Dew was the original Game Fuel that added taste and smell to the list of senses, completing the ability to feel. Games such as World of Warcraft, Halo 3 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 received their own exclusive Game Fuel flavors of Mountain Dew, giving gamers much more energy while they sit and play their favorite new title. The World of Warcraft flavors were particularly interesting, as the release included two flavors rather than just one: Alliance Blue, which carried a berry flavor and Horde Red, which was more of a fruit punch. Halo 3 was the original Game Fuel and considering the popularity of the game and my inability to find the beverage at the time, apparently gamers were swarming grocery stores in search of the citrus-cherry Master Chief flavor. The Modern Warfare 3 Game Fuel continued the citrus-cherry with one drink, while an accompanying one had a tropical flavor, similar to Horde Red. Call of Duty fans got access to double XP by purchasing these beverages, further incentivizing a purchase if they already had an affinity for soda-pop.
1 – Disney & Square Enix
The combination of Square Enix and Disney brought together one of the most unlikely combinations ever seen in gaming: Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck joining forces with the heroes of Final Fantasy and new ones created specifically for Kingdom Hearts that were strongly based on Square Enix titles. Although the Kingdom Hearts games have always felt uniquely action-packed for Square Enix games, it’s become more of a formula for their future games moving forward, such as Final Fantasy 7 Remake. The contrast between Disney and Square Enix is constantly highlighted throughout the series as characters team-up in interesting ways and the villains of the series join forces with villains from the most recognizable Disney titles. When the original title was unveiled, most people were expecting an entertaining flop but the series has stood the test of time and acquired a huge following. The original titles have even been ported to modern consoles, combined with some of the handheld games and totaling nine games so gamers could try and catch up on the lore of the series. Although Kingdom Hearts 3 is the most recent KH game to release, there have actually been thirteen titles in the series, with a timeline that’s as complicated as The Legend of Zelda’s. When companies take a chance on each other and it pays off, magic is created, but in this case Disney magic was created.
Honorable Mention – Fortnite x Red Cross
Although this combination is a recent one, I feel like it’s worth noting because of the shift in tone for Epic’s Fortnite battle royale to go from the last person standing game mode to playing the Red Cross mode which allows gamers to save the world. This mode aims to emulate the experience of a Red Cross volunteer, having heroes rebuild broken infrastructure and move important supplies from one area to another. When important organizations such as Red Cross have their reach expanded by games like Fortnite, more people become aware of the challenges the volunteers face and some may gamers even be inspired to become one themselves. Although I’ve avoided including multiple Fortnite collaborations, this one is game changing in a way that Marvel and Star Wars cannot compare.