To pick up Fast Five on Blu-ray, DVD at Walmart, better try Car Town

Car Town Fast Five
Car Town Fast Five

Branded Facebook game promotions are a dime a dozen these days, but turning a Facebook game into a store front? Now, that's something to twirl the mustache at. Cie Games announced that Car Town was the only place Fast Five fans could pre-order the Fast Five Blu-ray/DVD combo pack at Walmart. But since the movie released today in stores, fans can also take a trip to Walmart to score some in-game rewards.

Within Car Town, players could click on a giant Walmart-themed big rig to pre-order the pack through Walmart's online store, which would have scored them an exclusive in-game locker with a Fast Five-themed bullet-proof vest to display in their garages. Though, anyone who buys the game through Car Town or in stores will net themselves a virtual Armet Gurkha armored vehicle to race their friends with.

This is the culmination of a six month-long event made possible by Universal Partnerships & Licensing that displayed the movie's trailer within Car Town. And now players can complete missions inspired by the movie's storyline by racing cars directly taken from the film. And Car Town, which enjoys over 5.2 million monthly players, has had its branding throughout the Fast Five release.

"This program is one of the most extensive and successful efforts to date by a major film studio to leverage the nexus between real-world marketing and promotion via social gaming," said Cie Games CEO Justin Choi. "Since the program began in April 2011, Car Town players have completed more than 200 million races in the virtual Rio de Janeiro race environment modeled after the movie's key location."

In other words, this was one giant Facebook game branding event, and Cie Games is far from the only developer that's in on the action. Zynga has already begun to integrate Indiana Jones into its Adventure World completely, while other studios like EckoCode build their business entirely around branded Facebook games. We've said it before and we'll say it again: Branding is huge in Facebook games. Our concern, however, is whether the games can grow in terms of gameplay amidst the allure of branding.

Have you followed the Fast Five event in Car Town since it started? What do you think of branding in Facebook games--has it gone too far or are you digging it? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.

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