Ever since BMW revived the MINI brand, it’s been trying to capture a younger generation of car enthusiasts. MINI’s quirky looks, tongue-in-cheek interior styling, and fun-to-drive nature make the brand very attractive to a younger audience. In keeping with that youthful tradition, MINI is going to be the official sponsor of Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, from August 24-28, 2022. The Gamescom merchandise  area will be “Powered by MINI” as the official mobility sponsor of the event. While in the “merch area,” visitors will be able to see the all-new MINI Aceman concept, the brand’s latest EV concept car, one that features a ton of clever and fun technology inside. It’s exactly the sort of car that young gamers would find interesting.

MINI joins Pikachu

MINI is taking it one step further, though. MINI partnered with Pokémon to bring the beloved character Pikachu to life inside the car, using its Experience Mode. Using that mode, Pikachu takes over the cabin, as his face pops up on the main screen and then he also extends to the dashboard and door trims, which also feature screens that can interact with the main screen. There’s also an animation with Poké Balls and one where Pikachu fires his signature lightning bolt throughout the cabin.

“A major feature of MINI is the positive and future-oriented approach to individual mobility as well as the distinctive design of the vehicles. Gamification will play an increasingly important role in the MINI of the future and offer a unique experience for our customers. In cooperation with Pokémon, the shared joy of the game brings two iconic characters, that are a perfect match, together with millions of fans. This is how we reach a whole new target group at Gamescom 2022, as an event for modern fandom, gaming and pop culture,” says Stefanie Wurst, Head of MINI.

There’s also going to be an Action Pack featuring the MINI Aceman concept, as sort of an action figure. There are some unique touches to the Aceman Action Pack, too, such as a Poké Ball for a steering wheel. MINI’s campaign for Gamescom 2022 is “PLAY ON!” and it’s designed to promote “an open and diverse society with playful enthusiasm.”

MINI Metaverse

At the official launch of the MINI x Pokemon collaboration, we had a chance to sit down with Oliver Heilmer, MINI Head of Design, who talked at length about the integration of the two brands. We’ve also learned that several studies show that the gaming industry is now 15 times larger than the entire football (soccer) industry. So there is a lot of momentum in the gaming world and MINI wants to be part of it.

But why Pokemon and Pikachu? According to a MINI spokesperson, since Pikachu is the electrifying hero in the game, it fits perfectly with MINI’s future electric plans. This is also just the beginning of the MINI x Pokemon collaboration with more to come in the near future. At Gamescom, MINI will also reveal a MINI Metaverse where fans can drive around different districts of a town and those districts will display at the different modes from the MINI Concept ACEMAN. Interaction with others is also encouraged in the MINI Metaverse.

The video below gives you more insight into the MINI x Pokemon universe, as explained by Oliver Heilmer: