Doritos and Microsoft Team Up to Put Creative Control of Upcoming Xbox Live Arcade Game in People’s Hands

August 31, 2009

Two User-Generated Game Concepts to be Developed Into Xbox LIVE® Arcade Games; One Fan-Selected Winner Will Receive $50,000 Dream Assignment as Doritos Gaming Consultant


PLANO, Texas - As one of the leading consumer brands to successfully cross over into the world of video games, Doritos tortilla chips -- a flagship snack brand within PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division -- today announced it will once again offer the creative opportunity of a lifetime to video game lovers with the chance to design a new Xbox LIVE® Arcade game.  Today marks the return of “Unlock Xbox,” a ground-breaking video game design contest that puts the creative control to design an Xbox LIVE Arcade game in consumers’ hands.

The Unlock Xbox contest, which is driven by a collaboration between the Doritos brand and Microsoft, originated in 2007 and led to the creation of the record-breaking “Doritos Dash of Destruction,” the first consumer-created Xbox LIVE Arcade game, which went on to become the fastest Xbox LIVE Arcade game to reach one million downloads.

Starting today, people in the United States are invited to submit game concepts that embody the big, bold and intense spirit of the Doritos brand, for the chance to have their idea developed into an Xbox LIVE Arcade game for the Xbox 360.  Fans can review the submission terms and enter their ideas via video submission through October 4, 2009 at http://www.unlockxbox.com/.

“We are always looking for new ways to connect with fans and give them unique opportunities to express their creativity in a way only Doritos and our partners can deliver,” said Ann Mukherjee, group vice president, marketing, Frito-Lay.  “Many of the people who love Doritos also love gaming, and this innovative program gives our fans a chance to live their dreams.”

Ten quarter-finalists, which will be chosen by the Doritos brand and Xbox 360 and announced by Xbox’s Major Nelson, will embark on the journey of a lifetime as they compete to transform their game concept into a reality.  From in-person pitch meetings at Microsoft Game Studios with the “Godfathers of Gaming” including Kudo Tsunoda, to an online voting round, gamers will get to experience the incredible process of bringing an Xbox LIVE Arcade game to life. Ultimately, two will be developed into Xbox LIVE Arcade games available for download in fall 2010, with one fan-selected grand prize winner scoring a $50,000 gaming consultant project for Doritos.

“By bringing their brand to the Xbox LIVE audience, Doritos has the opportunity to reach a subscriber base of more than 20 million.” said Mark Kroese, general manager of Microsoft’s Entertainment & Devices Advertising Business Group.  “The first ‘Dinosaur Dash of Destruction Game’ was a record breaker in terms of first week downloads.  We’re excited to see what this round of creativity brings.”

Giving video game fans and Doritos chip-lovers everywhere even more reason to get in the game, between November 29, 2009 and December 31, 2009, visitors to http://www.unlockxbox.com/ will have a chance to instantly win great prizes as they log on to cast their vote among the finalists.  Promotion details and rules will be available on http://www.unlockxbox.com/ during the promotion period.

Further supporting its commitment to gaming fans, the Doritos brand also is announcing a partnership to bring pro football’s combine concept to the competitive video game world. The Doritos MLG Skills Combine will be a nationwide, multi-day competition where amateur players are put through their paces by MLG League officials and pros, with an eye towards evaluating their potential for participation in the MLG Pro Circuit.

The “Unlock Xbox” campaign is the latest evolution of the Doritos brand turning over control to consumers.  The brand’s commitment to fan-empowerment began with the Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” program, which started in 2007 and has turned the brand’s Super Bowl advertising over to its fans every year.  In 2009, Crash the Super Bowl achieved what many thought impossible when a consumer-created Doritos spot took the top ranking in the annual USA Today Super Bowl Ad Meter during Super Bowl XLIII.

In addition, the brand has put consumers in control through a variety of other exciting opportunities, including “THE QUEST,” which engaged fans in a multi-faceted online and real-world adventure of challenges; "Doritos Late Night,” which provided Doritos fans ground-breaking virtual musical performances by blink-182 and Big Boi through the power of augmented reality technology; and the Doritos “X-13D Flavor Experiment,” where consumers had a chance to name a new mysterious flavor of chips.

Frito-Lay North America is the $12 billion convenient foods business unit of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY.  In addition to Frito-Lay, PepsiCo business units include Pepsi-Cola, Quaker Foods, Gatorade and Tropicana. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate Web site, http://www.fritolay.com/ and the Snack Chat blog, http://www.snacks.com/.

PepsiCo offers the world’s largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 18 different product lines that each generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales.  Our main businesses – Frito-Lay, Quaker, Pepsi-Cola, Tropicana and Gatorade – also make hundreds of other nourishing, tasty foods and drinks that bring joy to our consumers in over 200 countries.  With more than $43 billion in 2008 revenues, PepsiCo employs 198,000 people who are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth, called Performance with Purpose.  By dedicating ourselves to offering a broad array of choices for healthy, convenient and fun nourishment, reducing our environmental impact, and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture, PepsiCo balances strong financial returns with giving back to our communities worldwide.  For more information, please visit www.pepsico.com.