722 iOS Advertising Tropes

A trend on Apple’s App Store for games has creeped into a full-blown epidemic.



This. This is the curse of the game preview that doesn’t actually show any gameplay.

(There are better, as in worse, examples of this, these 2 were just the first ones I found.)

This has always been an issue in gaming since as long as the internet has existed to encourage it. Developers or publishers released video trailers for upcoming games, but the trailer has little or zero footage that actually represents what the player does while playing the game. This could manifest as a cinematic, which isn’t always so bad as long as there is another video of the gameplay or footage cut alongside the cinematic. Another trend is have a “cinematic” trailer for the game that really is some of the gameplay, except it’s so heavily modified that you’d never know. Whether it’s the UI being stripped away, sounds and visuals being edited in post, or added graphics and text.

On iOS, the same is happening. These images have become a trend. They don’t actually show the gameplay, they just have elements from the game composited together, along with giant text that claim the game’s main bullet point features.

Why developers/publishers are doing this, I’m not positive. Sometimes I think they do it only to grab attention, and to make their game have the best chance of being downloaded. There’s not much bad intent there. But more often, it seems like it’s a method to hide things that these type of games are missing. What types of things? Well… content.

Many times the games that use this marketing tactic are the types of games that borrow heavily from other games to determine the mechanics in their game, and contain many free-to-play elements like timers, purchasing currency and upgrades, or other similar things. By displaying their game using these flashy graphical shots, the player isn’t 100% sure what the game is, and so it gives the developer a better chance of scoring a download, getting the player hooked, and then bleeding them dry of real-world cash.

Not that I’m cynical about it or anything…

[ Today I Was Playing: nothing… ]

December 23, 2016

#game-opinion, #mobile-game