In what is possibly the strangest news out of E3 2017, the Garfield GO mobile game has been announced. The game is offering free food to players and is aiming to be as successful as Pokemon GO.
Garfield GO, according to a press release, is “a brand new augmented reality treasure hunt game” that features “everyone’s favorite lasagna-loving cat,” as though are are many anthropomorphic cats that like lasagna. In case it wasn’t clear from the title, the game is inspired by Pokemon GO and “other location-based treasure hunting games.”
However, the key difference between Garfield GO and Pokemon GO is that the former offers free, real-world prizes and not just new Pokemon and virtual lures. Players can visit “millions of locations to find treasure, and prizes worth real money” that can then be redeemed at Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks, and Amazon. Other features include collectible Garfield comics, outfits for Garfield and “fun” mini-games that can win players free food as well.
Judging by the explainers posted on YouTube like the one above, Garfield GO is unlikely to bother Pokemon GO more than a fly would an elephant. Although some critics have joked that it is “the best game at E3 2017,” it’s not very easy on the eye and its animations look awkward. It is certainly not a patch on the animated Garfield movies, nor the 2D Garfield comic strips.
But with that said, its freebies could certainly give pause to some players. Pokemon GO recently raised its prices and offers players plenty of reasons to spend their money on the game. Garfield GO also has microtransactions if that walkthrough is to be believed (players can buy new Garfield outfits for a dollar), but at least it offers some free food and discounts in the process.
Garfield GO could also make a lot of money because of those freebies. Pokemon GO‘s sponsored locations make an awful lot of money and there’s clearly a market for retailers teaming up with game developers to entice players in need of refreshment. With Garfield GO offering an incentive to spend money with these retailers and restaurants, Domino’s Pizza, Starbucks, and the other partners for that game could find themselves rolling in it.