The Van Trump Report

Equipment Manufacturers Line Up to be Included in Video Game “Farming Simulator”

While I don’t have any hard numbers to back it up, I’d guess there are not a lot of companies with “video game placement” in their marketing budgets. However, it seems that a lot of ag equipment makers are doing exactly that with “Farming Simulator.” Just as the title suggests, the video game series from GIANTS Software allows players to grow crops, breed livestock, and sell assets created from farming. They also get to operate all kinds of equipment and, according to GIANTS, they receive hundreds of requests every year from farm machine brands asking to have their latest products added to the game.

The newest release, Farming Simulator 23, includes over 100 new machines, including from top manufacturers like John Deere, Case IH, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, and so many mores. Just like other simulator games, Farming Simulator aims to be as realistic as possible. GIANTS notes that the company works closely with manufacturers to get the physics and the methods of operation right to ensure each piece of gear works as closely as possible to its real-world counterpart. And a lot of real farmers actually use the game, where they obviously have a chance to “test drive” equipment.

Equipment manufacturers were apparently slow to recognize the marketing potential of Farming Simulator. GIANTS in the beginning was the one seeking permission from big farm machine brands to include their equipment. Now, they have a waiting list of companies hoping to make the cut. According to GIANTS, some have even launched new equipment in conjunction with game updates.

Farming Simulator can only include up to 500 pieces of equipment in its PC and console versions and 130 for mobile, so they are limited in what can be featured. A lot of manufacturers choose to place their larger, more expensive machinery in the game. “The really interesting stuff is above nine meters, and that’s what everyone wants to advertise,” said Martin Seidel, GIANTS Partner Manager.

While GIANTS won’t divulge what they charge for including a machine, they told The Guardian that the side revenue generated from product placements has grown large enough to cover development costs. Part of Farming Simulator’s marketing power also comes from players on Twitch and other services that livestream their game play. During peak times, Farm Simulator 22 has seen as many as 90,000 concurrent viewers on Steam streams for the game. Real farmers are among both the streamers and watchers.

Farming Simulator has released 14 games in its series so far, including the latest. GIANTS was founded in 2004 but Farming Simulator, which is sold over 25 million units, is its main franchise. It is so popular that it became an official competitive “esport” in 2019. Farming Simulator 23 launched on May 23, 2023. Check out the website HERE. (Sources: The Guardian, NPR, PCGamer)

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