Mobile game ads are lying to you

If you have a smartphone and sometimes hang out on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter or whatever, you’ve probably noticed short, obviously bogus ads for mobile games. Something that should often be logically banned because it looks like misleading advertising, but that, as you can see, is actually a real Eldorado. Let’s take a look at how and why this video.


  • Outbid rather than lying
  • Sex always works …
  • If lying becomes part of the game …
  • Who benefited from the crime?
  • So what to do?

The following text is a transcript of the video above

Outbid rather than lying

Let’s start with level 1: one-upmanship with a little lie. Here, find for example this little take to promote the mobile game Saint Seiya Awakening. Actually, what happens with this kind of ultra-cringe campaign is that the video becomes ridiculous and over-sold, that we want to talk about it, share it, just to make fun of the advertising… And by in doing that, we will do exactly what the creators of this ad expect us to do.

It’s important to bring back what an advertiser expects: attention, reaction, and if possible sharing, to include the viralness of his or her message. In the context of Saint Seiya Awakening, it’s not that the budget is nearly € 50 for the entire campaign, far from it. The goal is to do something very cheap to create a buzz.

Sex always works …

This category is very unique. These are ads that apparently sell graphics and games in their games. Some, like Legends of the Phoenix, literally copy tons of costumes from another game called Love Nikki into their ads. And the height of malice is that these stolen sequences, and these completely false creatures always have a strong sexy side, albeit completely crooked.

This sexualization of mobile game ads is a common practice in this industry. There is one particular speaking example, that of Evony, a strategic management game, based on wait time. A recipe you’ve probably seen 1000 times if you’re used to mobile games… Besides Evony finds himself in the middle of this forest, full of clones like him, and trying to change- or in his communication. At first they tried out the classic, heavy armor and promoted the free part of the game … But obviously, it didn’t work … Then, in another campaign, they started put a woman calling you “My lord”. Then, the young woman showed her breasts more abundantlyand invites you to play this game wisely, in caps, please… The final campaign is completely free wheel, with a woman undressing very clearly, in dress, far from medieval…

If lying becomes part of the game …

You’ve actually seen these ads for more simple puzzles that ask you to solve with a few touch swipes. If you’ve been intrigued and you’ve installed the game, you’ll probably end up with something unrelated to it! A super classic action-adventure game, or a game like Candy Crush where you have to manipulate colored pellets to solve more difficult tables and create a little watermark story. This is exactly what GardenScape and HomeScape, archi popular games, which monopolize the Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore, offer. And imagine that they are also playing the game of fake puzzles that turn you into something else.

Mobile game ads are lying to you

The publisher of the two games, Playrix, was arrested in 2020 by the English authority responsible for monitoring advertising, because their communication was obviously flawed. The comedy is that to cover themselves, Playrix actually integrates puzzles into its game, in the form of small bonus levels. There are a total of 10 of the thousands of levels on offer so this is rare, but it serves as a defense when there is an accusation. Aside from the authority rejecting these announcements, Plairix was forced to withdraw them, just to send a strong message to the developers. Even if you include these mini levels in your games, if they don’t represent the main gameplay of the game, then it’s a false advertising that should be removed. For the record, only 0.03% of Homescape and GardenScape players have access to the puzzle level, where many players arrive. And for the record, Playrix defended itself by making sure the pub didn’t have to represent the game’s content.

Who benefited from the crime?

Teaser ads can help you stand out in the most competitive world of mobile games. This is especially true for free to play games, which all look the same. All mobile game publishers, dwarves and giants, take advantage of this by fighting each other using trashier ads. However, one major player is not included in this equation: Google. And more broadly, social networks. In fact, these ads are broadcast, etc., on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram; which will help them generate huge traffic to buy broadcast media. In addition, because these ads are always effective because they are doctored, they generate installations and therefore many clicks. You may know this, but every click on an ad enhances its effectiveness, and by expanding, the location where it is broadcast: it is an exchange of good habits between unscrupulous publishers. and platforms whose business model is based on display advertising. Money is flowing, but regulation is struggling to get off the ground, for two reasons: digital is always faster than legislative, but also because we’re talking about shocking volumes.

Mobile game ads are lying to you

Some publishers are caught unawares, like Playrix, but that’s clearly not the mainstream trend. Thousands of small mobile gamers launch their misleading campaigns every month without any control or restraint. By doing some research on the topic, we observed that Facebook Gaming, in particular, is dedicating a video promoting Eighty-Nine Trillion. It is a studio for mobile games and Facebook games. He sells them false ads full of common sense, asset theft, sexist, misogynistic, and even transphobic postures. It’s never glorious and, once again, it proves that studios don’t hesitate to shock to improve the mobile games they make. This is a common practice and accepted by everyone in the industry, as it allows players to make money. A kind of two -speed behavior.

So what to do?

There are many solutions to solve this problem: don’t look at these ads and skip them as soon as possible, or most of all don’t click on them. In fact, by clicking on it, it risks promoting the ad and making it officially effective. It is also possible to avoid clicking on the ad and checking YouTube, for example, the game play to get a complete and unbiased opinion. It would be ridiculous to watch; Other YouTube channels are also special at comparing game trailers to the game. It can also create some nice surprises: sometimes, the advertisement faithfully represents the gameplay. But because there are so many false advertisements, it’s hard to avoid doubts. Meanwhile, the laws may take time to put around this practice, which has proven to be very beneficial for studios. And if we’re completely honest, there’s even a little funny side to watching these fake gameplays, and playing the game with seven similarities to already-known titles …

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