A couple of weeks ago KFC stunned video game fans by announcing a brand new game featuring the company’s mascot, Colonel Sanders. It got really strange when the game was revealed to be a dating simulator with Colonel Sanders as the prized companion.
The game—called “I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator“—features an unsettingly young and handsome version of Colonel Sanders drawn as an anime character. It has been released on September 24th on Steam as a free title for PC and Mac.
According to the game’s Steam description, players can participate in cooking battles, earn a degree from a fictional culinary school, unlock secret recipes, and more. The Steam page says the game is “Officially created by KFC. No, really.”
The game itself appears to be a 2D visual novel that will offer the player choices to determine the storyline. It promises “multiple hours” of playthrough, “cooking battles,” and a secret ending.
Furthermore, the culinary student in hot pursuit of hunky Colonel Sanders will be joined by other “lovable characters” who compete in cooking battles and actual battles, enjoy tiny food and share secrets. While, it may seem a strange choice for a fried chicken franchise, the Dating Simulator isn’t KFC’s first time into video games. When reintroducing the Colonel to a younger generation, KFC debuted an 8-bit videogame that shared the many iterations of the Colonel with new fans, and, according to Polygon, “In 2018, KFC launched a gaming Twitter account called KFC Gaming. The social media account is all over the place, hurling memes and video clips all across the internet.”
The fast food chain created the simulator in partnership with developer Psyop in the hopes of expanding KFC’s customer base. A trailer of the game can be found below:
KFC has indeed come up with some pretty novel marketing campaigns in recent years, using an assortment of male and female celebrities to portray Colonel Sanders. But this new take is definitely unexpected, although it’ll probably catch the attention of anime fans.
“KFC is always looking for ways to reach niche communities in unexpected—but authentic—ways, creating compelling experiences that these communities will seek to be a part of,” a KFC spokesperson said to PCMag.
Yum! Brands, which includes Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and KFC, has seen sales growth from their bold marketing campaigns. Of the Dirty Dancing campaign, Greg Creed, Yum! Brands CEO, said, “KFC’s bold and cheeky marketing uniquely accentuated the delicious pairing to help KFC U.S. deliver its strongest month of same-store sales growth for the year. With continued focus on value and innovation, we’re excited for what 2019 has in store for this always original brand.” The I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator is another way for the brand to continue pushing their marketing forward on all channels – social has been big deal for chicken franchises lately – in the unexpected way their fans have come to expect.
In July, KFC introduced the limited-time KFC Chicken Cheetos sandwich which had fried chicken, mayonnaise, Cheetos sauce, and Cheetos. The Cheetos craze continued during July with Cheetos hot wings, Cheetos-loaded fries, and Cheetos mac and cheese.
KFC also introduced Beyond Fried Chicken in partnership with Beyond Meat in August as a plant-based meatless option, joining many other fast food chains like Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts in giving eaters a meatless alternative that still (mostly) tastes like the real thing.
The cartoon colonel in the new game is a much younger take on the KFC mascot we’ve come to know and love, who in recent years been portrayed by the likes of Reba McEntire, Jim Gaffigan, and Norm Macdonald. The real Colonel Sanders was born on September 9, 1890, so Monday would have been his 129th birthday.
And in yet another celebration of the colonel—just in time for Halloween—KFC just released a Colonel Sanders costume so you can truly live out any Colonel Sanders dream you have.