We need to start rethinking how we look at these mobile games. I’ve never really thought much about iOS and Android titles. They exist, of course. Commercials for them appear on TV fairly often. But there’s no direct contact. I don’t know anyone who plays Clash of Clans , as an example, and even my mother has abandoned the various King games. However, the Super Bowl XLIX has taught us something. We should be noticing these.
Not for their gameplay. Though, who knows? The gameplay for titles like Game of War: Fire Age could actually be good. No, we should be paying attention to these mobile titles for the amount of money they’re raking in. A game like Clash of Clans always appears in iTunes and Google Play’s top grossing list. I never think much about it, because of course it would be there. It’s a microtransaction machine. Except Super Bowl XLIX has brought to our attention just how much money these games are making.
There were no ads for console or PC games during the Super Bowl. An ad for The Order: 1886 appeared during the pre-game show, but that doesn’t count. Those ads are cheaper. However, during the game, a 15 second spot for Heroes Charge , a 30 second spot for Game of War: Fire Age , and a 60 second spot for Clash of Clans appeared. That’s big money, there. The cost of a 15 second ad spot hasn’t been noted, but it was $4.5 million for 30 seconds and $9 million for 60. Which would allow us to reason that a 15 second spot would still be about $2.25 million.
Even more has to be considered. That cost is the price to buy the ad time. It doesn’t consider how much the companies paid for the commercials themselves. Game of War: Fire Age had Kate Upton appearing as her in-game character, Athena, as she escaped a castle that was under attack. The Clash of Clans spot with Liam Neeson wasn’t as active, but the star power would absolutely be more expensive. It makes the Heroes Charge ad, made up of a brief animation showing three characters, seem cheap in comparison despite also appearing during the game.
Simply put, it’s astonishing that these companies have the kind of money to even invest in Super Bowl advertising. It really gets you thinking about the amount of money people are putting into these games every day, week, and month. The fact that mobile companies would not only consider this, but two would go for longer, more expensive slots, is more interesting than the commercials themselves. I mean, of the three, the Liam Neeson ad is the only one that’s actually funny and entertaining.
The idea that these free-to-play games could convince people to part with so much money that the creators could afford Super Bowl commercials feels like testament enough. It’s gotten me wondering how good they might actually be, and thinking that perhaps I really should be giving one or two of them a try. They’re most certainly addictive, but perhaps this kind of reaction means they’re also actually good. The notion that they had enough money for these ads to even exist is the most compelling argument to try them.