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June 2015 Retro Gaming Article


June 14, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

From supermodel to diva, Game of War enlists Mariah Carey as their resident gladiator

Have you read articles about the glut of mobile games being introduced each month? Between Apple's iTunes store and Google Play, new apps number in the thousands - per month! I frequently read articles about wading through this mass of apps to find the good ones. In our case, mobile games are also swirling around in this ocean of mediocrity. So how do you find the good games? Are they the successful ones having advertising budgets including TV ads? Not always.

Kate Upton on horseback in Game of War Fire Age Machine Zone's Game of War: Fire Age is in the news again. Aside from their intake of $1 million dollars each day, they are boosting their celebrity-factor with a new spokeswoman. As we balk at the million dollar per day statement, it's easy to see how this allows them to do almost anything they want in terms of promotion.

Earlier, we noted their casting of supermodel Kate Upton to appear in commercials and the game itself as part of a $40 million advertising campaign by the game's developer.

Game of War Taking Upton's place is singer, Mariah Carey. At 45 years of age with dwindling album sales, we wonder who this deal helps more. It would seem that each party can draw benefits from this deal - beyond the 7-figure paycheck for Carey.

She recently had a clever album release that may not have translated into the desired sales level. If these ads (print and TV) are as rampant as Kate Upton's, Carey could once again become a household need.

Popularity comes and goes. Who benefits more - Maria or Machine Zone?
In all of this, I wonder how large a game developer has to be to select a spokesperson who has zero ties to gaming? Aside from the popular notion that "sex sells", is a random celebrity a better rep than someone connected to gaming in some fashion? Or how about showing footage from the game itself!?!

Pretty girls are used all the time to promote products, but I was surprised to see Upton's likeness be incorporated into the game. If Mariah Carey came out saying she's a gamer, I'd call BS in a heartbeat - lol. I'm interested that Machine Zone is going this route again.

In advertising, Nintendo has gone the route of showing game play and people having fun playing these games. Rarely do mobile gaming ads show the players. I think all gaming promotion should be more closely tied to the games. Neither Kate or Mariah will be playing games with you, so the company that delivers the most compelling game should triumph. If it were only that simple...

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