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Ever spent a long night gaming while while grazing on an ever-depleting stack of delivery pizzas? Of course, you have. Video game makers and pizza companies know this and have been working together for more than a decade to make what seems like the most obvious sales opportunity possible—letting gamers order pizzas from their game console.
In 2005, the MMORPG Everquest II became the first game that let you order pizza while playing. Typing “/pizza” would link you to Pizza Hut’s website. It was not only the first time you could order pizza in a game, it was the first time you could order any real world object.
Since then pizza/gaming innovation slowed for a few years. Now it’s raging again. In 2013, Pizza Hut and Xbox Live announced a pizza-ordering app for the platform; within four months, more than $1 million in pizza had been sold through the app.
In 2014, XBox and Domino’s partnered in the UK so gamers could order pizza through speech recognition software. You can just tell the app what toppings and extras you want and it places the order at the nearest Domino’s.
What does the future hold? Now that Pokemon Go has popularized augmented reality gaming—which pushes users outside of their homes and closer to pizza restaurants—some restaurateurs see opportunity. Brixx Pizza, a Charlotte, NC chain, offered buy one, get one free pizza to anyone who caught a Pokemon near their store.