Televised Advertising for Mobile Games
Why does it all seem a little unfair?
Slowly but surely television has become inundated with visions of games like Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and other similar free-to-play endeavors that are floating at the top of the App Store top lists week after week. Except sometimes it's not just familiar names. It's random, unexpected titles splashing across the screen with inconsistent levels of quality, promoting games that hardly (if ever) deserve this level of advertisement.
I know everyone's going to be playing Candy Crush Saga, and you know it. It doesn't need the additional advertising space on TV while you're trying to watch your favorite show, but then of course it gets it. Not only does it get a massive amount of advertisement, but it misrepresents the game being sold.
True, this could be said of nearly any kind of ad for any game, but some are more heinous than others. For instance, a particular free-to-play resource management title has viewers staring starry-eyed at a scantily-clad warrior woman as she extols the virtues of the game she's hawking. Little to no gameplay is used to promote what's being advertised, and players head to their phones thinking they're going to be met with a gorgeous woman and some different sort of game altogether.
Not only this, but do free games really need that sort of advertisement? They're inevitably going to be downloaded. They've got the power of virality; security in the knowledge that they're the heavy-hitters, and no matter what they do they can rest assured in the fact that whatever derivative tripe they eventually push out will likely be adopted by the masses they've already captivated with their insidious free-to-play models that only get bigger and more evil.
So why do we sit by and let these things happen? Great question -- We don't have a choice. As long as people continue to support the very games that cheat the system, offer gameplay that's nothing like what their commercials show, and pay into a system that rewards mediocrity, we're going to see these things happen again and again. And that, my friend, is a sad future indeed.