If you have a smartphone and occasionally go out on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, or otherwise, you’ve probably noticed short and openly bogus ads for mobile games. Something that normally should logically be banned as it looks like a deceptive advertisement, but which, as you will see, is actually a real El Dorado. We will see how and why in this video.


  • Overcoming is not lying
  • Sex always works …
  • When the lie becomes part of the game …
  • Who benefits from the crime?
  • So what do you do?

The following text is a transcript of the video above

Overcoming is not lying

Let’s start with level 1: superiority with a hint of lies. Here, for example, is this small excerpt to promote the Saint Seiya Awakening mobile game. In fact, what happens in this kind of ultra-crazy campaign is that the video becomes so ridiculous and oversold, that we want to talk about it, share it, just to make fun of the publicity … And in doing so, we are doing exactly what the creators of this ad have come to expect from us.

It is essential to relocate what an advertiser expects: attention, reaction and, if possible, sharing, to involve the virality of his message. In the context of Saint Seiya Awakening, it is not that the budget was around 50 euros for the entire campaign, far from it. The goal is to do something very inexpensive to create a buzz.

Sex always works …

This category is quite strange. These are advertisements that openly overestimate the graphics and gameplay of their games. Others, like Legends of the Phoenix, literally copy tons of costumes from another game called Love Nikki in their commercials. And the pinnacle of mischief is that these stolen sequences and totally fake creations often have a strong sexy side, even totally perverse.

This sexualization of mobile game ads is a fairly common practice in this industry. There is a particularly telling example, that of Evony, a strategic management game, based on waiting times. A recipe that you have probably seen 1000 times if you are used to mobile games … Except that Evony finds himself in the middle of this jungle, full of clones like him, and tries to innovate in his communication. At first they try out classic and heavy armor and bring out the free side of the game … But of course it didn’t work … Then, in another campaign, they started doing it put a woman who calls you “My lord”. Hence, the young woman shows her chest more generouslyand invites you to play this game in silence, in capital letters, please … The latest campaign is definitely freewheeling, with a woman who strips very clearly, in clothes, far from medieval …

When the lie becomes part of the game …

Surely you have already seen these ads for super simple puzzles that you are asked to solve in a few touch steps. If you are ever intrigued and install the game, you will probably end up with something that has nothing to do with it! A super classic action-adventure game, or a game like Candy Crush where you have to manipulate colored balls to solve increasingly difficult tables and develop a small, watermarked story. This is exactly what GardenScape and HomeScape offer, popular game arches, which monopolize Google PlayStore and Apple AppStore. And imagine that they too have played the game of fake fake puzzles that send you back to something else.

Mobile game ads are lying to you

The publisher of the two games, Playrix, was caught in 2020 by the British advertising monitoring authority, because their communication is openly false. The joke is that to cover up, Playrix actually integrated 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 it’s pretty rare, but it serves as a defense in the event of an indictment. Except that the authority rejected these ads, forcing Plairix to withdraw them, only to send a strong message to the developers. Even if you incorporate these bogus levels into your games, if they don’t represent the main gameplay of the game, then it’s a fake advertisement that should be removed. For the record, only 0.03% of Homescape and GardenScape players had access to a puzzle level, through which many players had come. And for information, Playrix had protected itself by specifying that the pub does not necessarily represent the gameplay of the game, so we are in a confusion where ethics are not adequate.

Who benefits from the crime?

Teaser ads help you stand out in the highly competitive world of mobile gaming. This is even more true of free-to-play games, which all look a bit similar. All mobile game publishers, dwarves and giants alike, take advantage of this by battling one another with trashy advertisements. However, one major player is excluded from this equation: Google. And more generally, social networks. In fact, these advertisements are transmitted, among others, on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram; which helps them generate colossal traffic in buying media to broadcast. Also, since these advertisements are often effective because they are retouched, they generate installs and therefore a lot of clicks. You may know, but each click on an ad increases its effectiveness and, consequently, the place where it was broadcast: it is an exchange of best practices between unscrupulous publishers and platforms whose business model is based on display advertising. . Money is flowing, but regulation is struggling to take off, for two reasons: digital is always going much faster than legislative, but also because we are talking about mind-boggling volumes.

Mobile game ads are lying to you

Some publishers have been caught red-handed, like Playrix, but it’s clearly not the mainstream trend. Thousands of small mobile gamers launch their deceptive campaigns every month without control or coercion. Doing some research on the subject, we could observe that Facebook Gaming, in particular, had dedicated a video that highlighted Eighty-Nine Trillion. It is a studio for mobile games and Facebook games. He sells them with false advertisements full of common sense, theft of assets, sexist, misogynistic and even transphobic positions. It’s not really glorious and, once again, it shows that the studios don’t hesitate to shock to promote the mobile games they produce. It is common and accepted by everyone in the industry, as it allows players to generate money. A kind of two-speed ethics.

So what do you do?

There are several solutions to deal with this problem: do not look at these ads and skip them as soon as possible, or above all do not click on them. In fact, by clicking on it, you risk enhancing the ad and making it officially effective. It is also possible to avoid clicking on the ad and check the gameplay of the game on YouTube, for example, in order to have a complete and impartial opinion. This can be fun to watch; some YouTube channels also specialize in comparing gameplay trailers for the game, which can also create some nice surprises: sometimes, the ad faithfully represents the gameplay. But since there are countless false advertisements, it is difficult to avoid doubts. In the meantime, laws may take time to put in place around this practice, which is proving terribly profitable for studies. And if we are completely honest, there is also a little fun side to seeing these fake gameplay and playing the game of seven similarities with already known titles …

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