Ford Mustang Races into New Video Game
The new Ford Mustang video game allows players to drive 40 different Mustangs, from the original 1963 concept to the '69 Mach I as well as the SVT Cobra and 2005 Ford Mustang GT Coupe.
DEARBORN -- If the creators of the new Ford Mustang video game are correct, some parents may find themselves competing with their children to play it. Unlike sophisticated racing simulators like Gran Turismo 4, the Ford Mustang game, released this week by Take 2 Interactive, is targeted for all ages.
"It's more of an arcade game that's just fun to play," said Scott Brovsky, product manager for Take Two Interactive. "We think the Mustang game is going to be huge, and the big box retailers like Wal-Mart agree."
The Ford Mustang game, which can be played on PlayStation 2 and Xbox format, allows players to drive 40 different Mustangs -- from the original 1963 concept to the '69 Mach I, as well as the SVT Cobra and 2005 Ford Mustang GT Coupe. Points are given for good driving technique in addition to how quickly one completes the course.
The popularity of the Mustang is driving demand for just about anything connected to it, according to Mark Bentley, Ford's manager of Product Licensing.
"Right now the hottest product out there is the Mustang and everyone wants a piece of it, from kids' toys to the interactive game industry," said Bentley.
Ford is projecting to sell 165,000 Mustangs in 2005 -- an important piece of the company's overall sales. The Mustang video game, which is expected to attract a young audience, could potentially put millions of youthful "interactive" Mustang drivers behind the wheel as they replicate the driving experience, according to Killol Bhuta, Mustang marketing manager.
"Mustang customers are getting younger," said Bhuta. "With the previous Mustang, one in four customers was under the age of 35, now it is closer to one in three. To market to this younger consumer we have to take off in a non-traditional direction, and video games are a no-brainer really."
Unlike movie or television placements, video games draw the user inside the entertainment medium. Instead of just seeing a brand or product, video game players can interact with it again and again.
The through-the-ceiling growth of the video game industry has companies like Ford looking for ways to use games as a way to attract younger consumers. Interactive games generated $24.5 billion in revenues in 2004, according to DFC Intelligence, According to a market research firm focused on video, PC, online games and other forms of interactive entertainment Armed with research showing the average male between 18 years and 32 years of age spends more time playing video games than watching TV, Bentley said Ford is eager to put its brand on more high-quality video games.
"You would think its just kids, but we're seeing a whole generation of young adults from ages 20 to 35 who grew up playing video games and are now carrying it forward into adulthood," he said.
But video games aren't just the domain of males. According to the DFC Intelligence report, 40 percent of all video gamers are female.
And there are more Mustangs and other Ford brands to come. A Ford versus Chevy game will be on the market by the end of the year.