I apologize for the long break in content, but I’m back and ready to go.
So, mobile game advertisements, we’ve all experienced them. Likely on YouTube. Given that what you look at and do online is tracked and monitored you’ll find a higher amount of gaming ads sent your way if that is what you spend your time looking at and doing.
Tailored ads are kind of spooky when you think about it.
Game ads, the big issue.
I’ve spoken at length about mobile gaming in another article where I brushed on the misleading advertising being part of the reason that these games get such a bad reputation. Mobile game ads are perhaps the most misleading form of advertising out there and I honestly don’t know how they are allowed to get away with it.
They rarely use actual game footage and have some guy or girl overlaid on the ad pretending to play it, likely some employee within the company. Or they have some annoying voice-over. One of the basic rules to follow when watching any of these ads is to not believe what they show or tell you. They are generally all lies to make you think the game is better than it is.
Don’t get me wrong though, I understand that the point of advertisements is to get people to use or buy what you’re offering but surely they should be honest shouldn’t they?
With the development of streaming platforms and the ever-increasing amount of you tubers that focus on gaming, these mobile game companies were bound to start sponsoring people to advertise for them. These games are cash cows and make serious bank so they’ll happily throw a few hundred or a thousand at someone to advertise for them.
You might all remember one of the most prolific of these from 2019; Raid: Shadow Legends. It often felt like you couldn’t go anywhere on YouTube without seeing an ad for this damn game. Either it was an ad you could skip or the creator you were watching was being sponsored to make it. I’m not begrudging people making a living but you’re basically being paid to lie to your audience.
After doing some digging more and more has come to light about how these sponsorships work. They chuck money at you but you have to follow a set script and plug what the developers tell you to. All of which are either exaggerations or just downright lies. Like console-level graphics, huge arching story and the other myriad of rubbish they get you to say to try to attract more people to the game. I highly doubt any of these creators actually play the game at all and major kudos to those that give these companies the finger instead of taking money to lie to people.
Stealing content from real games.
One of the most egregious things I’ve noticed recently and in fact the main impetus behind me writing this article is the ads I’ve seen recently where they are blatantly stealing things from other games and calling it their own. Thing is, anyone that’s been gaming for any decent amount of time will recognize this stolen content.
A game that comes to mind is one called Forge of Empires or something along those lines. The most recent ad I’ve seen even has a poorly printed game sleeve put over a disc case. The voice-over talks about how people back in the day used to love the game and how it’s been brought to the modern age. Of course, anyone with a brain can see that they are stealing from Age of Empires, perhaps one of the most beloved games ever.
It’s honestly shocking to me that they can get away with this kind of thievery. What’s more shocking to me though is that people believe it. I’ve honestly been tempted to download the game just to leave a bad review on google play. Speaking of, why does google play allow these games on their platform when they use such misleading advertising?
Are there not rules to stop this?
You’d think so, but there doesn’t seem to be considering these games still pump out such misleading ads and still exist on google play and other platforms.
There are rules against false advertising but I believe these only cover and extend to physical products and services. There isn’t much if any legislation to prevent these companies from making such misleading ads or stealing content from other real games and claiming it as their own.
There needs to be some sort of legislation or ruling introduced to stop this type of misleading advertising but due to how much money these games make they’ll have the bank to push back against such things if they were to become a reality.
So what can we do?
Review bombing is a terrible practice and I normally would be strongly against it. But in this case, the only real way to combat these things is to hit them in their ratings with bad reviews.
With enough people doing it they might be forced to take notice and actually produce quality ads that show real game content and what the game is actually about. It’s a long shot of course but if enough people start doing it then it might make some form of change for the better in the future. It might even get the platforms that host the games to take notice.
One can hope I suppose!