5. Bono helped finance Mercenaries and Mass Effect
U2 is one of the most famous bands on Earth, and despite appearing on some games’ soundtracks, their biggest contribution to the world of gaming was behind the scenes. In 2004, U2 lead singer/sunglasses model, Bono, joined Elevation Partners, a media group named after one of his hit songs. By late 2005, the company had invested $300 million into developer BioWare and Pandemic, making Bono slightly responsible for, respectively, Mass Effect and Mercenaries.
BioWare and Pandemic were just part of Elevation’s massive media machine, but they became a big headache for Bono as Pandemic worked on Mercenaries 2. The campaign featured a military group invading Venezuela, a touchy political topic that didn’t sit well with Bono’s humanitarian buddies. A group named the Venezuela Solidarity Network publically asked for Bono to cancel the game. While Mercenaries 2 ultimately got published, it might not be a coincidence that Elevation sold off both Pandemic and BioWare by 2008, letting Bono return to music, charity, and looking like a Mass Effect villain.