With every new season of Netflix’s original political drama House of Cards, comes another video game reference.
In season one, Frank Underwood, the show’s main character, avidly played Call of Duty and mused about getting a PlayStation Vita. Then in season two, Underwood played UsTwo’s Monument Valley, a move that helped the independently mobile game skyrocket in popularity, though the game’s developers claim they didn’t pay to have their title featured on the show.
Now, in season four, Underwood spends some valuable campaign time with online multiplayer game Agar.io. The title, which is free-to-play, tasks players with growing the size of their tiny cell by gobbling up other cells. Kevin Spacey’s character draws comparisons between the game and his current presidential campaign in House of Cards.
In a statement sent to a number of publications, Arg.io says that House of Cards production team called Miniclip, the studio behind the game, to ask for permission to include the game in the latest season of the show.
Agar.io skyrocketed in popularity last year after being featured in various PewDiePie videos, which in turn, encouraged other YouTubers to feature the online multiplayer game in their videos as well.
“We received a call from the House of Cards production team, out of the blue. They already knew about the game and wanted to include it in the show, and naturally we were delighted to be a part of it. We worked closely with the HoC production team: we made a special build of the game that had the Obama skins taken out so that it better fit the HoC universe.
When we learned that House of Cards wanted to include the game in the show, we were blown away. Agar.io has been incredibly popular since it launched last year, and this latest news really underlines it as a cultural phenomenon. The game joins a very prestigious club of titles that have been played by Frank Underwood – we hope this will lead to plenty of new fans discovering Agar.io and joining the millions around the world that already play and love it.”
It’s unclear if, similar to the Monument Valley product placement, Agar.io making its way onto House of Cards is an example of unpaid product placement. If this is the case, it’s a beneficial arrangement for both parties, giving the Netflix original program the modern edge it often seeks out, and Miniclip free advertising for their title.
Eagle-eyed Reddit users have also spotted characters in the show using the OnePlus 2 – the company reportedly paid just 300,000 for its devices to be featured in the show – as well as the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Image credit: Netflix