The Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food chain (KFC) has announced that they will be releasing a video game to tie in with their brand, and not just any type of game, but a visual novel dating simulator starring Colonel Sanders and friends titled I Love You, Colonel Sanders. The game will have the player assume the role of a promising student attending culinary school with a young Colonel Sanders, where they will be tasked to make time for their blossoming romance with whomever they choose while also focusing on their studies. The game is being developed by a small indie developer that goes by Psyop, and will actually be published by KFC themselves.
While it is a first for a fast-food company to release a visual novel to promote its products, fast food video games have been a thing for quite a long time, as have ironic and intentionally quirky visual novels. Burger King once gave away several different titles for the Xbox 360 starring their mascot The King, namely the infamous stealth game Sneak King, as well as the vehicle multiplayer games Pocketbike Racer and Big Bumpin’. There are other famous examples such as Yo! Noid for the NES, which focused on the then mascot for Domino’s Pizza, The Noid, and of course the now infamous Japan-only PS1 infinite runner title Pepsiman.
Visual novels and in particular visual novel dating sims have seen many ironic, parody titles developed by smaller, most often Western developers. There have been several breakout successes of this type, such as Doki Doki Literature Club and Hatoful Boyfriend, but so many have popped up in recent years that certain fans of more traditional visual novel games feel they might be hurting the genre’s reputation. Whatever turns out to be the case for I Love You, Colonel Sanders, we will all know soon enough.
I Love You, Colonel Sanders will launch on Steam for free on September 24th.