Jan 13 2016

Games for mobile devices. The danger of advergaming for established brands

We've all seen well-known brands using video games to advertise themselves from time to time. It's something that's very intuitive, and the idea is simple:
"If I make a free game that includes my brand, thousands of users will download it. Splitting the development costs between all these downloads means that the cost per impression…will, over time, tend towards zero! Great! And to reduce the investment risk, I just have to reduce the production costs as much as possible."

The reality is quite different. By reducing development costs to a minimum, companies are only able to hire small studios that have little experience and reduced fixed costs. Any game so produced will normally be of very poor quality in all respects — both visually and with regard to its features. But with a bit of luck, it won't contain bugs or any other errors.

What usually happens is that such a game then begins to receive adverse criticism in the app stores. And if they are unlucky enough to have had numerous downloads, the negative effect is multiplied. The upshot of all this is that, instead of attracting new users, the brand in question will have created a new problem for itself.

Creating a game that satisfies users enough for them to write a positive opinion on it, or share it with their friends, is a project of considerable magnitude. It requires hiring a very experienced video games studio — and for the brand to give the studio team sufficient freedom to create something that they know with certainty has the potential to please the game's players.

Regarding our experience with Famosa we had many of the ingredients for the success that Pinypon Play World is now proving to be:

  • The basic technology had already been developed: The Education District. The development time and risks associated with the investment were very much reduced.
  • Pinypon is a brand that boasts extraordinary visual quality. It was very easy to create a game that both children and parents would love.
  • Famosa gave us freedom with regard to the video game's gameplay. First and foremost, we kept the various design elements.

It may seem obvious, but before investing in the creation of a video game for brand promotion, or even for monetization purposes, it's necessary to carry out an in-depth analysis — as would be the case with any other important investment.

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 January 2016 22:09