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Monday, June 24, 2024

Tractor makers are scrambling to get their gear into Farming Simulator

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Where once it had to ask politely to put high-profile farming machine brands in Farming Simulator, Giants Software now has too many requests to be in the wildly popular simulator series, a new profile of the game in The Guardian says.

“In the beginning, we had to ask manufacturers to be included in the game,” said Wolfgang Ebert, Giants’ marketing manager, to The Guardian. “Today, we have to consider who we can integrate and what benefit there is to the game—we have many, many brands waiting to be included.”

It’s a fascinating look at how a once-niche game has taken pride of place as prestige advertising in the highly specialized world of farm equipment manufacturing. Giants can only include some 500 pieces of equipment in a Farming Simulator release, and how much money changes hands certainly has an affect on what goes in the game—though Giants is clear that its primary business is game development.

It’s definitely part of the appeal to manufacturers who want to raise the profile of their brands—and get their equipment into the hands of the many gamers who are actually farmers field-testing equipment for purchase. To that end companies apparently, per the Guardian report, share detailed engineering drawings of their equipment with Giants software so that it can be accurately simulated.

A key example is Finnish manufacturer Valtra, whose latest series of tractors was announced at the same time as it was added to Farming Simulator 2022. Quite literally, the trailers for the real tractors and the Farming Simulator 22 tractors were released on the same day. Just google “Valtra Q series” and watch “FS22” show up as an autocomplete option if you’re curious as to how this impacts the equipment’s search patterns.

Either way it’s a continued twist in the ever-evolving story of Farming Simulator, which may well be the most interesting game out there—at least from the perspective of a cultural critic. For example, did you know that Farming Simulator has an active and thriving esports scene?

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