- Wendy's has released its first tabletop role-playing game (RPG), "Feast of Legends," according to materials provided to Marketing Dive.
- The game involves "a realm threatened by frozen beef" called "Beef's Keep," where "only true heroes will rise to defend freshness." The game was launched on Thursday at New York Comic Con in partnership with global entertainment brand Fandom and YouTube role-playing series Critical Role.
- The launch includes a "Feast of Legends" website, a video trailer, a "roll the dice" online generator and a PDF Player's Guide containing rules and guidelines about creating characters, conducting gameplay like battles or "feast mode," and determining skill levels for such trainings as "The Order of the Beef" or "The Order of the Chicken."
Wendy's debut of a tabletop RPG is a decidedly lo-fi way to market to a specific but sizeable set of gamers. There are 4.7 million RPG fans across the U.S. and 13.8 million worldwide, according to Google Analytics data cited by Wendy's. Tabletop RPGs allow players to improvise and describe their characters' actions and require little more than pen, paper and dice. The classic example, "Dungeons & Dragons," has seen a revival in recent years.
By creating a branded RPG, Wendy's offers these millions of RPG fans a creative way to engage with the brand. Working with Fandom and Critical Role on its player's guide and video gives the effort an air of authenticity that will be key to the campaign's success.
The RPG comes after several attempts by Wendy's to engage with fans on "Fortnite," the hit online game popular with young consumers. The QSR teamed with agency VMLY&R on "Keeping Fortnite Fresh," creating a Wendy's avatar that entered burger restaurants inside the game's unpopulated cityscape, located the freezers and destroyed them, Ad Age reported. Wendy's returned to Twitch this summer to play the game with its digital avatar, live-streaming the action to promote the launch of Baconfest.
Wendy’s latest attempt to throw its hat into the gaming ring complements its other outside-the-bun marketing efforts. Last year, for example, the brand directly tweaked competitor McDonald’s in a series of tweets and in a Super Bowl ad, jabbing that burger chain for “frozen beef." Also last year, Wendy's released a new mixtape, "We Beefin'," that taunted its competitors with songs like "Rest in Grease."
However, Wendy's isn't the only QSR that is generating buzz with edgy efforts. KFC, for example, has released a video game dating simulator with a young and sexy Colonel Sanders, created a computer-generated hipster version of the Colonel and introduced the world to its sexy Mother's Day video.