The game has been created in collaboration with DJ Hooch and international hip-hop legend ‘Crazy Legs’ from the Rock Steady Crew, who also features as in-game host.
With the success of the game riding on its authenticity, Hive worked closely with Montana to ensure that the brand’s product and values were incorporated sympathetically into the game environment.
“B-Boy represented a great opportunity for us to reach our target audience via an innovative advertising platform,” said Ruedi Glatz, CEO at Montana. “In this instance not only are there obvious synergies between our brand and the game but we felt that the method itself speaks volumes about our values – by using in-game advertising now we’re reinforcing our brand as innovative, forward-thinking and challenging mainstream thinking.”
In real life the spray paint specialist sponsors a graffiti team of five internationally renowned artists, known as the MONTANA WRITER TEAM. Original artwork by Montana’s team has been included in the game environment to further enhance its authenticity. The spray cans appear throughout the game helping to recreate a realistic hip-hop environment.
“This is a great example of a best practice in-game advertising campaign - Montana's spray cans are incorporated seamlessly into the game – and testament to Hive's experience and in-depth understanding of the gaming world," said Chris Lee, commercial director at FreeStyleGames. “Not only do well-executed product placement campaigns such as this one help the advertiser to reach an increasingly fragmented audience, they enhance the gamer's experience through a genuine and authentic representation of real world brands.”
“Working with both the games developer and the advertiser, we’re the guardians not only of the brands we represent but perhaps more importantly the gamer’s experience,” said Rachel Normal, MD at Hive. “It is critical that prospective players from the hip-hop community view the game as a sympathetic representation of their world, otherwise people simply won’t play. We’ve really enjoyed getting under the skin of B-boy culture to develop this campaign to ensure that the visuals enhance rather than disrupt the game play.”
B-Boy is due to be launched on October 6, 2006 on PlayStation2 and PSP.