Officials from show and clothing manufacturer Puma have announced a partnership with Activision to include Puma footwear and a special “sneaker collector mission” in Activision's forthcoming multi-platform action game True Crime: New York City
. The company will also design a special edition True Crime
shoe, limited to 200 pairs, to be sold only online and in select New York City retailers.
As a separate quest from the main game, players must find all of the special edition True Crime
RS-100 sneakers scattered throughout the city and return them to select, real New York City retailers featured in the game. Once the mission is completed, players unlock an exclusive Puma outfit for the game's main character to wear.
The deal is the latest in a string of partnerships between clothing manufacturers and games publishers, with Electronic Arts signing a similar deal with Reebok
to feature the company’s sportswear in a variety of titles, starting with NFL Street 2
. At the recent X05 event in Amsterdam, Microsoft also announced a deal with Adidas
to co-promote Xbox 360 exclusive FIFA 06: Road to FIFA World Cup
with Electronic Arts.
Other recent deals have included Ubisoft’s use of the AND 1 clothing brand for its forthcoming basketball game AND 1 Streetball
, as well as Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
from Atari, which has been developed in conjunction with the noted fashion creator and founder of the urban lifestyle brand Ecko Unltd.
In each of these cases, publishers have described a desire to appeal to casual and non-gamers through recognizable brands as the main force behind the various partnerships. The installation of playable demo pods in related clothes stores also appears to have been a factor. As Dave Anderson, senior director of business development and licensing at Activision suggests, "The unprecedented limited edition True Crime
sneaker illustrates the pervasiveness of videogames in popular culture today."