Toyota boycotts Need for Speed
TOYOTA refused to allow its cars to feature in a new racing game because it could encourage people to drive recklessly on the road.
Responding to a Twitter user highlighting a "missed opportunity" for cars such as the Toyota Supra to feature in the new Need For Speed Heat game, the manufacturer's UK arm said its cars are "not there" because the title promotes "illegal street racing".
The official Need For Speed twitter account responded by calling Toyota "nerds".
Toyota has since deleted its tweet.
Twitter users pointed out perceived hypocrisy in Toyota refusing to take part in video games while the new Supra is expected to feature heavily in the next Fast and Furious film. A truckload of Supras was caught on set for the high-speed blockbuster this week.
Ironically, the hero car on the cover of Need for Speed Heat is a Volvo - the safety conscious brand which promised to put 180km/h speed limiters in all new cars for 2021.
Toyota has a mixed history with video games outside Sony's Gran Turismo franchise.
Its road cars do not feature in smash-hit Forza Horizon or Forza Motorsport Xbox games, and are missing from other popular games.
It is possible Toyota has signed an exclusive deal with Gran Turismo. GT creator Kazunori Yamauchi and Toyota Supra chief engineer Tetsuya Tada told gamers in March that they have been working together for 10 years, and that Gran Turismo played a role in developing both the Toyota 86 and new Supra.
But there may be more to it than that. In 2009, an unnamed senior Toyota executive told a Japanese journalist that realistic video games make cars unnecessary.
"Home game machines are no good," he told Osaka's Mainichi Newspaper.
"Playing something that realistic makes the need for cars disappear."