With every new season of House of Cards comes a new video game reference. This year’s slate of episodes is no exception. On the fourth season of House of Cards, which went up on Netflix last week, embattled president Frank Underwood spends some valuable campaign time with the online multiplayer game Agar.io. In Agar.io, which is free, you play as a tiny cell that gobbles up other cells in an attempt to get bigger and bigger — kind of like a presidential campaign, as Underwood astutely points out.
Last week, Miniclip community manager Sam Smith sent us an email explaining how this had happened:
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 to be a part of it. We worked closely with the HoC production team: we made a special build of the game that had the Obama skins taken out so that it better fit the HoC universe.
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. 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.
Agar.io became super popular last year after getting massive coverage from PewDiePie and other YouTubers. Some people have speculated that this sort of savvy product placement is thanks to marketing deals, but in this case, it appears like the team behind House of Cards is just really hip on games.