Earlier this year, one real-life trucking company started buying billboards in American Truck Simulator in an effort to hire the game’s players as actual drivers. Now, it seems, that effort was so successful that more trucking groups are following suit.
Back in June, developer SCS Software detailed a new set of in-game billboards pointing to the recruitment website for Schneider National, a massive logistics logistics company looking for new drivers. Shortly after, Schneider reps noted that newly-hired ATS players often “showed skills above their experience level” and “credited their learning to the video game.”
At a minimum, the campaign has apparently been successful enough to convince another trucking company to try the same tactic. Swift Transportation now has its own recruitment ads in ATS, and these point to a unique web page welcoming potential gamers-turned-drivers: “If you enjoy role playing as a truck driver in American Truck Simulator, you just might love the true truck driver lifestyle! Want to make your gaming experience a reality? We welcome you to get behind the wheel of a real Swift truck.”
Now, this is the part where I’m forced to acknowledge that ATS replicates the “true truck driver lifestyle” without any of the stress of that lifestyle. My fascination with the sim comes from my own family’s history in trucking, and let me tell you, while I love driving digital trucks you could not pay me enough to make a living behind the wheel of a real one.
But hey, SCS has a much more optimistic view of the recruitment ads. “We believe that even the smallest gestures can have a profound impact,” the devs say in a blog post. “By showcasing industry-related content within the game, we aim to create meaningful connections between virtual worlds and real-world opportunities. As countless players pass by our in-game billboards, who knows? Someone might see a recruitment billboard from Swift Transportation and take that as a sign to explore a career in trucking.”
I’m still not over Baldur’s Gate 3 forcing me to give up on playing the ATS Oklahoma DLC.