While other companies do expensive crossovers with Fortnite, Renault's been modding its little electric car into Garry's Mod, Palworld and Stardew Valley—and the mods actually look good

 A Renault 5 in Stardew Valley.
Credit: Renault/ConcernedApe

Product placement isn't quite as rife in videogames as it is in movies and TV, but there's still a long history of collaboration. Who can forget how Energizer used Alan Wake to let us know how quickly its batteries drained? Then there's League of Legends' long-running partnership with fashion company Louis Vuitton, which has spawned everything from ostentatious trophy carrying cases to in-game skins. Fortnite, meanwhile, has become a big playable billboard.

Car manufacturers, though, are the most prolific, with racing games showing off everything from the latest supercars to the humble Mini. French manufacturer Renault, then, has its cars featured in plenty of videogames already, but for its latest marketing push, to promote its Renault 5 E-Tech electric car, it's doing something a bit more novel.

It's been modding its car into a bunch of different of games, and while the list features the usual suspects like Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite (I'm sure the kids are gonna go wild for a small, yellow electric car and immediately run out and buy the real one), Renault's modders have also snuck it into less obvious games, like Stardew Valley, Garry's Mod and Palworld (where, yes, you can enslave your very own pal-car hybrid).

You can now replace the cat from Stray with a Renault 5 E-Tech, or explore an underwater world in Subnautica inside one—I don't recommend submerging one in real life, though. And the really surprising thing is that these aren't half-arsed efforts.

The Stray skin has been given a futuristic overhaul, so it has Back to the Future-style tyres that flip into thrusters, while the Subnautica one looks like a wee sub, rather than a car that's just been flung into the ocean (for some reason its Nexus Mods listing has vanished, though). In Palworld, meanwhile, you won't just be capturing a sentient Renault 5; it's got a proper creature design, looking like a nightmarish combination of Transformer and Pokémon.

Renault's Stardew mod is the most impressive one. Instead of just dumping a Renault 5 in Pelican Town, the modders have created a new location, Louis's Garage, where you'll be able to get to know Louis, a "mechanic, engineer and all-round handyman". Louis is pals with Clint and Robin, has four heart events and offers some quests. The mod page even teases that there might be more coming down the line, with new characters from out of town coming to visit Louis. Honestly, it sounds pretty cool.

I don't like being marketed to and I'm generally opposed to videogames being used like billboards, but I can sort of get behind this. They're additive and actually seem pretty fun, and clearly the modders Renault commissioned are fans of the games—you don't get something like Louis's Garage otherwise.

The mods can be found in a variety of places like Nexus Mods, Steam Workshop and through Fortnite and Roblox, while links and instructions can also be found on Renault's official "Modder5" page.