President Frank Underwood has a new favourite game — and it’s made by a British mobile company.
On Friday, Netflix released the fourth season of the wildly popular political drama “House of Cards.” It follows the fictional US president Frank Underwood as he battles for re-election to the White House.
And in Episode nine, British gaming company Miniclip makes a cameo.
Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, is known for his love of games. In season one, he frequently played shooter games to wind down. By season three, after he had graduated from senator to Commander-in-Chief, he was seen enjoying “Monument Valley,” an atmospheric platform puzzler for smartphones and tablets.
Now, he’s playing “Agar.io” — a multiplayer mobile and online game that involves controlling an amoeba-like blob as you attempt to eat other players, grow, and avoid being eaten yourself. It is published by Miniclip, a 14-year-old games company based in London. Its games have been downloaded half a billion times.
“We received a call from the ‘House of Cards’ production team, out of the blue. They already knew about the game and wanted to include it in the show, and naturally we were delighted,” company spokesperson Ben Meakin told Business Insider.
The company provided the production team with a special build of the game — users are able to customise their blob with images, so they needed to avoid Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton appearing by accident while they were filming.
“Agar.io” is already pretty big — it has 60 million monthly players. But Miniclip is hoping its inclusion will give it further momentum. “Monument Valley” was given an “insane” boost by season three, creator Daniel Grey told the BBC at the time: “We had about eight time the number of downloads we usually would do.”
“When we learned that ‘House of Cards’ wanted to include the game in the show, we were blown away. ‘Agar.io’ has been incredibly popular since it launched last year, and this latest news really underlines it as a cultural phenomenon,” Miniclip CEO Rob Small told Business Insider. “The game joins a very prestigious club of titles that have been played by Frank Underwood — we hope this will lead to plenty of new fans discovering Agar.io and joining the millions around the world that already play and love it.”
You can see Agari.io in episode 9 (“Chapter 48”) of “House of Cards” season 4 at around the 31-minute mark.