So, for a while now, YouTube has seen a rise in Mobile Game Ads that promise more than they can offer. A few years ago, it was still “just” AFK Arena popping into every single video I’d see to not only annoy you for the sake of annoying you… but to also promise you some sort of 3D action stuff or in-depth decision-making that doesn’t actually appear in the game.
AFK Arena is actually quite a lot of fun and has lots of things going for it that other Gacha games don’t have… but it didn’t promote those. It promoted features that it didn’t have at the time.
Anyway, Raid Shadow Legends was another one of those sponsors and advertisers that would basically promise a lot of things but not stuff that is actually in the game. In fact, people would do ad reads for it when sponsored and weren’t allowed to say specific things about the game…
Some friends of mine that have been sponsored even didn’t get paid out because specific promo codes didn’t work or because specific campaigns required people to get to a specific level… but even when reaching those, they didn’t count. Wow.
And nowadays… I get a lot of Mobile Game Ads that are either for the same recycled Gacha Stuff that I’ve seen a dozen times before…
This sounds a lot like I’m shitting on these games but… I’m not. I’m sure they’re great games… or something. I’m sure there’s fun to be had in those. The ads just never made me think “Oh, that looks cool, let me play that” – in fact, most ads for those don’t actually show you anything from the game.
Raid Shadow Legends ads have these actors and skits that correlate to the game… but they make sense if you’ve played the game. I did play it a fair bit for that post up there and didn’t like it… but I later decided to play it again because a friend of mine got sponsored and… for what it is (aka a very grindy and not-at-all “revolutionary” RPG), it’s pretty good.
These mobile game ads that I’ve been seeing, though… they don’t do any of that. They don’t show gameplay or actual graphics. It’s all just unrelated cartoons or sketches with real actors about how they’re apologizing for not being “even more generous” and basically saying stuff along the lines of “so far, we’ve been giving away THIS MUCH SHIT and now… we’ll do better… We apologize for that. Starting now, you’ll get double the shit for just logging in”.
Basically, these ads aim to bait you into installing the game because there’s free stuff without actually saying anything about the game. The idea is that your bad experience with other games may make this game seem more lucrative… or something. We all like getting free stuff, probably, but it just isn’t enticing really.
Epic Games giving you free games every week isn’t an incentive for people to buy games over there. Exclusive titles are frowned upon but more effective. The freebies are just… ways to get people to use the launcher and now that Fall Guys and other free titles are exclusively on that store front, more people will probably trickle into that store.
Freebies aren’t really effective, I think. After all, most Gacha games, for instance, require you to use specific units (fodder) to boost other units’ star levels… so that you can use those units as fodder for stronger units.
Freebies help with this but they only give you a little boost. They’re not gonna make the end game less grindy.
Other ads that (originally prompted this post) upset me more, though: “This video is sponsored by…” is how they start and it makes people think that their favourite creators are sponsored by the devs of that game… That’s ingenious.
I don’t know how many people fall for that stuff but that’s one smart way to trick people into downloading your game, innit? Most of the time, those games then explain how pretty these uwu anime girls are that you can get for the 100 pulls you get for installing the game.
Yay, free stuff… anime girls… and wording that makes it seem like they’re sponsoring content that you like.
It’s ingenious. It’s amazing. In a very bad way!
This sort of reminds me of those times when Burger King would “promote” themselves on Twitch streams by donating money to (often) smaller streamers – often enough to buy one burger of sorts… but not really all that much. They’d donate with the amount of money, promoting their stuff and then they’d leave.
The issue there was that people essentially got upset at them promoting the company “officially” by donating five bucks or whatever. It’s just five bucks. Proper sponsorships and marketing budgets are way above that… and a company like Burger King should have the budget for that, right?
And at last, I’ve also encountered these sort of ads that basically just show some gameplay (at least they do that much) but the voice-over explains how “this girl” that also played the game didn’t do well in the game because they suck at games and because that weapon is super bad and a noob trap.
It’s just the same toxic gender-stereotype-enforcing crap being spouted into the void that causes people to harass women on Twitch and in the gaming community as a whole… but it’s used as promotion material.
I don’t know exactly who came up with that idea but I feel like they’re probably not exactly fun at parties.
How do you justify stuff like this anyway? “This girl played this game and she sucked because she’s a girl” – and now… download the game?
What’s next? Are we gonna get ads for games that make fun of minorities to get racists into the player base? Will we ragefarm downloads by harassing live people to promote some stupid gacha game?
It’s honestly… so… so… disappointing that stuff like this gets perpetuated on YouTube and that there are seemingly no regulations as to what actually is said or promoted – when the same stuff would cause issues if content creators were to do that stuff. If you’re doing product placement but not mentioning it, that causes issues. When advertisers, however, start ads with “this video is sponsored by” despite them not having paid money to the content creators where the ad plays… that should cause issues, too, right?
And then there’s the rampant sexism that apparently works in the advertising business, especially with mobile games… and that whole “Boys vs Girls” mentality that probably is being used here because most kids these days have a phone – and clearly, that stuff works wonders on young children that definitely shouldn’t play Gacha games…
Just some thoughts and rants. Thoughts are appreciated!
This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.
I don’t get to see much of that crap anymore since I finally caved and installed an ad blocker a couple months ago – the main reason being Youtube ads, go figure. So yeah, I absolutely agree. It’s gotten really bad.
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Yeah, for me personally, it wasn’ much of an issue over here for quite a while because of ad block… but as of late, I’ve been using YT on my phone a lot more and those annoying ads just sort of got more frequent… Idk
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