For those of you who don’t know: Pizza Hut had a marketing campaign back in 1998-1999 originally called the “Pizza-Powered PlayStation Giveaway!!!”. Said campaign meant game demo discs were included with your purchase of Pizza Hut pizza. These discs had entire collections of game demos from Metal Gear Solid, to Final Fantasy VIII, to Crash Bandicoot: Warped, and so on.
I was barely even alive during the time of this campaign, but I feel an immense secondhand nostalgia for it. The idea of getting games and pizza, getting delivered right to your door, in the same transaction, sounds downright magical to the kid in me. And according to those who were kids during that time, it was magical.
Nowadays, I’ll admit the concept of demo discs isn’t quite as attractive as it was back then. Back in 1998, you couldn’t just simply download demos like you can now. For many, demo discs were the only way you could try a game out without having to pay full price for it.
That being said, I still think this is something Pizza Hut should try again anyway, ideally with the PlayStation 5, and including demos of games that aren’t out at the time they do it. A lot of gamers would be motivated to start eating Pizza Hut pizza if it means they can play an exclusive demo of the next big PS5 release. And even for people who aren’t that into games; why would they order from Domino’s when Pizza Hut is practically giving away free games? Why not take the free game? That value could easily bring in customers for Pizza Hut for both the short and long term.
As for Sony, it’d be an interesting way to advertise and further establish their presence in the gaming industry. Best case scenario, having a PS5 demo disc just lying around might motivate someone to buy a PS5. But a more likely scenario: they take their demo disc to a friend’s house and they enjoy the games on it, making that person say “Man,that was fun! I want a PS5 now!”
As for third parties: including their games on a Pizza Hut demo disc alongside big games like Call of Duty would catch interest from people who otherwise wouldn’t be interested at all. Gamers might give a demo of the next Persona or Nier game a shot if it’s on the same disc as something like Call of Duty.
In a nutshell: bringing back the Pizza Hut demo disc can get more people into games, and gamers into Pizza Hut pizza. Despite advances in technology making demo discs less attractive, this could be a win win for all parties.
Now if you’ll excuse me: all this writing about pizza is making me hungry.