Amid all the game announcements and exclusive game trailers released during Summer Game Fest and the Xbox Game Showcase, McDonald’s released a new video game to celebrate the birthday of its purple mascot, Ghostface. Ghostface was Uncle McDonald’s best friend and was often featured in McDonald’s commercials before disappearing for a few years. The purple mascot is now back in the spotlight for his birthday with a mix of online and offline elements.
This isn’t McDonald’s first foray into gaming, as the company has previously released various games to promote its fast food restaurants and even train employees. The first McDonald’s-published game dates back to 1988, when Donald Duckland was released for the Famicom. Since then, the fast-food chain has released a variety of games, including one dedicated to training new restaurant employees called the eCrew Development Program, which is only available on the Nintendo DS.
To celebrate the birthday of its purple mascot, McDonald’s has released a new video game simply called Grimace’s Birthday. The browser game looks totally early 2000s, with various mock McDonald’s-themed ads and an available Game Boy Color game in which players must help Grimace find his friends and collect birthday presents. Commissioned by McDonald’s, Gumpy Function, Pearacidic, and Krool Toys used GB Studio Central open source tools to create a Game Boy Color game.
Ghostface Birthday is the latest element McDonald’s has revealed in its mascot birthday celebration, Fan Food Chain fans can already try limited-time Ghostface birthday meals and milkshakes, while the company’s social media has been taken up next to the Big Finger mascot . However, unlike the recent collaboration with the Super Mario Bros. movie which brought exclusive toys to McDonald’s customers, this celebration doesn’t offer specific toys that players can collect.
While McDonald’s titles are rarely nominated for Game of the Year awards, the company often works with popular gaming franchises. The fast-food chain regularly promotes new games by giving away toys at Happy Meals, from Pokemon cards to Overwatch 2 cosmetics. McDonald’s even created its own gaming chair, complete with a chicken and french fries holder that’s said to be stain-resistant, so gamers don’t have to worry about eating and gaming at the same time. Fans of the company sometimes even share their love for the fast-food chain online, as in a recent example, when Far Cry 5 players used the game’s level editor to create a realistic McDonald’s.